Andrews Chief of Police Tyrone York resigned his job, effective Nov. 9.
Tyrone Clark gave notice two weeks earlier, after all the other officers expressed their displeasure with the chief.
Andrews Mayor Frank McClary said he was speculating, “but, several weeks prior to that we received concerns about a toxic environment.”
“They were being asked to do things they believed to be unlawful,” McClary said. “Writing tickets, putting quotas on tickets.”
He and Town Administrator Mauretta Dorsey talked with the officers. “As a result, we had some things to be addressed, but I didn’t think it would get to that” (resignation).
“Shortly after that meeting, he submitted his resignation,” McClary said.
“There are things that we still have to address to ensure that the department, like anyone else, is conducting things in compliance with the law.”
“At some point, one of the senior members of the force alluded that we would have a mass exit if those things continued.”
“As a result, we were given several memoranda … of things outside the law, especially quotas for tickets.”
McClary said a state law passed in 2016, when Nikki Haley was governor, said there could be no quotas.”
“I believe at the time of the meeting, there were things that we could have fixed. But, we were in the middle of the campaign” for election of mayor and Town Council members.
“No matter who you are, you have to comply with the law,” McClary said.
He said the Andrews Police Department has capable officers.
Capt. Joseph Graham is serving as interim chief. “He’s been with us almost a year.”
“We have very senior officers. Some have 15 to 20 years’ experience. The town is in great shape,” McClary said. I’m very pleased with this department, though you can always improve.”
York came to Andrews from the Town of Greeleyville, where he was with the police department. He had 24 years’ experience in law enforcement.
“To his credit, he did a vey good job of building teams. It seemed like he needed to work on building leadership.”
As for the new chief position, McClary said, the Town will be opening it up for interviews.
“We will certainly expect to see Capt. Graham apply. He has been chief in other departments for a long time.”
He said one officer needs to go to the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy. “Once he is certified, all eight of our guys will be Class 1.”
“They are doing a good job keeping us safe.”
McClary said of York, “Personally, he’s a great guy. I believe this was an opportunity for him to get training to make better decisions.”
“Certainly, we cannot have the entire department – just go.”
“There’s never a dull moment. They work really hard, and they need to be taken care of.”