Sheriff of year in South Carolina? Out of 46 counties, York County top cop honored

York County’s top cop now has another honor: Sheriff of the year in South Carolina.

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson was named 2019 Sheriff of the Year on Thursday by the S.C. Sheriff’s Association.

Tolson said he was humbled and honored after being recognized by his peers.

He said he is proud to serve the people of York County and commended his staff of more than 350 men and women for their dedication to public safety and service.

“Leaders are recognized, yet I accept this award on behalf of every person who works at the sheriff’s office because this award is theirs,” Tolson told The Herald Thursday. “I accept the award as sheriff of the year humbly and with great honor, but really this award is the York County Sheriff’s office award. Every person in our office believes in service above self. We are a team, and this award is for every player on our team.”

Tolson was elected in 2016 after longtime Sheriff Bruce Bryant retired. In a 27-year law enforcement career, Tolson was a deputy, supervised forensics and other departments at the sheriff’s office, and was the lead investigator for the 16th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Tolson was recognized by South Carolina sheriffs for his leadership after Det. Mike Doty was killed and three other officers wounded in a January 2018 ambush near York.

“Both during this tragic event and in the aftermath that followed, Sheriff Tolson has displayed exceptional devotion and compassion to the family of Detective Doty, the injured officers, the families of the injured officers, and York County Sheriff’s Office staff all while coping with his own pain and grief,” said Phillip Thompson, Horry County Sheriff. “His devotion to these officers and their families continues to this day and is an inspiration to us all.”

Other sheriffs in South Carolina also recognized Tolson for the work his office has done in fighting opioids and other community service.

Tolson follows Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile, who won the award in 2018.

The Sheriff’s Office Foundation of York County will receive $1,000 when Tolson is presented the award in July.

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