Monday, July 28, 2014
Kyle Walton, 49, of Georgetown has been a cop for 25 years. Growing up in Marcelline, Ill., a tiny, unincorporated community on the western border of the state, Walton moved to the area when his dad retired from a mid-western paper company after 35 years and came to South Carolina to work with International Paper.
Walton enlisted in 1986, spent two years in Germany and when his four years were up, came south. He worked at High Tide building boats while he put himself through college. With two degrees under his belt – an associate’s in engineering & technology from ITT Tech and an associate’s in criminal justice from Horry Georgetown Technical College – he came to Georgetown Police Department.
“While I was at Tech, two of my instructors worked for GPD,” he says. “Major C. Spencer Guerry and Lt. Ken Arthur.”
“I guess I did a good enough job [in school] so they hired me when I applied,” says Walton.
His engineering degree, he explains, is because “I like to build and design so I got a degree in it but the job requires you to be in a little office all day.”
Walton says he was always interested in criminal justice so he took an “intro course at Tech” and it piqued his interest.
He is certified as a Field Training Officer and he runs the training for new officers for GPD. He is a driving instructor for both the department and the police academy, an instructor in ground defense (defending yourself when on the ground) and defensive tactics (weapon retention, close quarter combat). He is a search and crime scene tech, is certified in Criminal Domestic Violence, basic homicide investigation, fingerprint identification and Aggressive Criminal Enforcement (as part of the 15th circuit solicitor’s DEU-drug interdiction team).
He has spent eight years as a training officer, 10 years as a patrol sergeant, supervising the patrol division and the past two and a half years supervising the School Resource Officers, special assignment officer (DEU) as training supervisor and FTO supervisor. He is in charge of putting together the hiring boards when the department has openings. He is also the evidence custodian for the department, which includes keeping evidence secure, maintaining chain of custody and taking it to SLED and labs. He is also a major crime scene investigator.
His worst experience in law enforcement was a fiery crash on 17 where four men were killed when they collided with a tanker that flipped and exploded.
His best, he says, was years ago when the (then) Sun Bank on Fraiser Street was robbed. “The two individuals left on foot and I was shift supervisor. I coordinated a perimeter and we located the individuals in the apartments behind Belks. We arrested them and recovered all the money.”
The department, he says, has a pretty good success rate with bank robberies.
His professional goal is “to try to give back to the department. “I want to give back what was given to me when I started.” Walton says he has a couple of years to retirement but he’s not sure if he will [when he can] or continue working. What he doesn’t aspire to, he says, is being chief!
He and his wife Sherry, a nurse at GHS, are parents to Kaitlynd, 21 and Braxton, 16 and grandparents to Thomas Cole, 3. Their household also includes two boxer-bull dogs – Klondike and Sugar, 4-5 years old, Chewie, 2, a chiweenie and two cats – Rio and Snowflake.
Walton enjoys golf and watching MMA on television as well as baseball – St. Louis – and football – Pittsburg Steelers.
He likes fresh water fishing and “I used to like yard work but not too crazy about it anymore….” He does enjoy his vegetable garden though. “I’ve got tomatoes and cucumbers growing.”
He is working on getting a boat.
He enjoys cooking and he and his wife divide up the cooking. Together they enjoy camping, going shopping at Home Depot and taking their grandson out.
“I’m a homebody.”
His life goal is to live a long and happy life and “help my kids do the same thing.”