Tyrone York grew up in the small town of Greeleyville, population 438. As a child he recalls playing in the streets, graduating from C.E. Murray High School and attending church. So it was fitting that he would become an officer of the law to serve and protect the citizens he has known all his life.
After living elsewhere, York would eventually come home and make lieutenant with the Greeleyville Police Department. He would stay with the department for three years, but in 2017, he decided to apply with the Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Office as a school resource officer and cover D.P. Cooper Charter School. But when the Greeleyville Police Chief also joined the sheriff’s office, York knew what he had to do. “This is a place where I call home,” he said. “I just wanted to come back and help them (citizens). I basically wanted to finish what I started.”
Local resident Retha M. Thompson was ecstatic when she got the news. “I was so happy I cried. It was a breath of fresh air,” she said clasping her hands. “Somebody told me but I didn’t believe it till I saw him.” Thompson coaches softball at C.E. Murray where practice can last till after dark. “He was always a presence. He would always circle. That made us feel safe.”
Carl Tisdale agrees with Thompson saying things were better when he was on patrol. “This used to be a raceway,” said Tisdale standing inside 263 Money Saver on Highway 521. “He slowed it down. And young kids running around at night - he put a stop to most of that.” Tisdale recalled the youth trips York would host. “He’s mentoring these kids and that I admire. I gave him a thumbs up every time somebody mentions his name. That’s how I feel about it,” said Tisdale looking up at the 6’8” interim chief. “And as big as he is, I’m going to give a thumbs up anyway.”
Because of the election cycle falling within York’s employment, he was appointed interim chief. In the meantime, he’s making plans. “Our goal is to educate our citizens on the law so we will sponsor seminars that will enhance the citizens’ knowledge of the law,” said York. He also plans to host speakers such as the Clerk of Court, judges and victim advocates, as well as representatives from Probation and Parole and the DMV and hold fun events. “It’s not our goal to arrest and write everyone a ticket that I come in contact with,” said York. “It’s our goal to extend a helping hand. We want to interact with the citizens, allowing them to receive and give love back.”
The only caveat: When the time comes, he must apply just like everyone else. But that’s ok with him. “I thank God for allowing me to come back home to try to make a difference,” said York who went onto thank Mayor Jesse Parker and council. “Our goal is treat people the way we want to be treated.”