York’s Robinson earns top state law enforcement honor

jbecknell@enquirerherald.comDecember 17, 2013 

— Police Chief Andy Robinson was honored last week during a statewide gathering with a top award for law enforcement in South Carolina.

Robinson received a 2013 Strom Thurmond Excellence in Law Enforcement Award Dec. 10, during an awards ceremony at the U.S. Army base at Fort Jackson.

Four awards were given, one each for law enforcement officers at the municipal, county, state and federal level. The award is the highest recognition for law enforcement officers in South Carolina.

Robinson said his commitment to community policing were key components of his selection. During his three-year tenure as police chief, Robinson and his department have launched a series of community policing initiatives.

The York department has organized community meetings with neighborhoods in the city, presented a National Night Out celebration, partnered to host a local job fair with Tender Hearts Ministries and collected and delivered holiday food to needy families, among other initiatives.

Under Robinson’s leadership, the department also began to use social media to communicate with residents and launched a digital crime mapping program.

“I am honored and humbled to have been nominated for, and to receive this award,” Robinson said in his acceptance speech.

“However, this award would not be possible without the wonderful men and women of the York Police Department who, I feel, share this award with me, and I accept it on their behalf,” he said.

Robinson also recognized his family, York City Manager Charles Helms and police Capt. Brian Trail, who he said “deserves this award as much, or more so, than I do.”

Other honorees were Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews, IRS special agent Alan Cornett and state Department of Natural Resources Director Alvin Taylor.

Former U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond created the annual awards in 1983. This year, on the 30th anniversary of the awards, Thurmond’s son, Strom Thurmond Jr. presented the awards with Bill Nettles, U.S. Attorney for South Carolina, and Terry Wooten, Chief Judge of the United States District for South Carolina.

The luncheon was hosted by Nettles’ Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers’ Association and the Strom Thurmond Foundation.

Those who serve on the awards committee and vote on the nominations are Thurmond Jr., SLED Chief Mark Keel, Newberry Sheriff Lee Foster, Retired SLED Chief Robert Stewart, FBI Special Agent in Charge David Thomas, 1st Assistant United States Attorney Beth Drake, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles, Orangeburg Department of Safety Director Wendell Davis and Strom Thurmond Foundation Chairman Joseph McCrorey.

Jennifer Becknell •  803-329-4077

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