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Officers praised for handling of bank robbery

Posted on May 19, 2016

By Pat Dowling
During the May 16 meeting of the North Myrtle Beach City Council, the Community Law Enforcement Appreciation Committee (CLEAC), an Horry County group founded to encourage enhanced communication between the Horry County community and law enforcement, honored three North Myrtle Beach police officers and two Horry County police officers for their efforts on May 4 during the robbery of South State Bank on Main Street, which included a police chase with suspects firing at officers and some residents, and a day-long manhunt that ended with all suspects being captured unharmed.
Bennie Swans and John Bonsignor represented CLEAC, and Horry County Councilman Harold Worley also participated in the award presentation.
Swans emphasized the professionalism shown by all officers, who did not return fire even in the face of being targets of the fleeing robbers.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Swans said in presenting the officers with their CLEAC awards. “Thank you for your professionalism, thank you for making sure that no one was harmed during the chase and during the capture of the bank robbers. This showed great restraint and professionalism on your part. You represent what the very best in professional policing is all about.”
The CLEAC awards were presented to North Myrtle Beach Detective Andrew McCarter, North Myrtle Beach Lieutenant Thomas Dennis and North Myrtle Beach Police Chief Phil Webster on behalf of all North Myrtle Beach Public Safety personnel, Horry County Police Chief Kelvin Waites, and Horry County Lieutenant J. Randall Ghent.
North Myrtle Beach Police Chief Phil Webster also presented Detective Andrew McCarter and Lieutenant Thomas Dennis with the Medal of Valor for the grave danger they exposed themselves to during the chase, or for the restraint they showed in that pursuit.
Mayor Marilyn Hatley and city manager Mike Mahaney both addressed the assembled police officers and thanked them for their professionalism under great duress, and their commitment to keeping North Myrtle Beach residents and visitors safe.
“Above all else, I am so glad and so very thankful that none of you were hurt during the chase and its aftermath,” Mayor Hatley said. “Each and every one of you is very special to us all.”

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