WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — After 37 years the West Columbia Police chief is hanging up his gun and badge.
Chief Dennis Tyndall announced Wednesday his intention to retire. He will stay with the department as they search for a new leader.
Tyndall began his career with the City of West Columbia in 1984 as a patrolman and worked his way up through the ranks becoming the Chief of Police in 1997. His tenure makes him the longest-serving police chief for the City of West Columbia.
“Serving the City of West Columbia as Police Chief for 24 years has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life," Tyndall said in a statement. "It has been an honor to lead one of the best groups of professional law enforcement officers and staff in the state of South Carolina. After 37 years of service with the police department, it is time to allow someone else the opportunity to serve as Chief with such a great forward-thinking City. The leadership of this City’s Mayor, City Council, and City Administrator has always valued good law enforcement and recognizes the challenges we face to keep our community safe while maintaining high standards and mutual respect between our police department and the community we serve. I look forward to assisting the City during the transitional process as they bring on a new Chief.”
“Dennis Tyndall has been a police officer with the City of West Columbia for 37 years and our Chief for 24 years," West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles said in a statement. "I congratulate him on his retirement and wish him the best of life and luck to come.”
City Administrator Brian Carter said, “I began my career with the city in the Police Department and have seen firsthand Chief Tyndall’s dedication and unwavering service to the people of West Columbia. ”
According to a press release sent out by the city, Tindall "brought the West Columbia Police Department into the 20th century" by changing the way the department functioned by integrating technology into policing before anyone else in the state.
Over the years, Chief Dennis Tyndall has achieved many awards and been recognized for his accomplishments including the following:
1989 - Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, Cayce West Columbia Optimist Club
1995 - FBI National Academy Graduate, Session 183
1995 - President of the Lexington County Law Enforcement Officers Association
2004 - Sworn in as a US Deputy Marshal for the Operation Intercept Joint Fugitive Task Force
2007 - Municipal Achievement Award, Municipal Association of South Carolina
2007 - Santee Cooper Award of Excellence
2008 - Founded West Columbia Police Officers Foundation
2008 - Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association
2008 - Alltel Crime Prevention Award, South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association
2008 - Recognized by Harvard University’s ASH INSTITUTE for Democratic Governance and Innovation for the top 50 Most Innovative Police Departments in the United States of America
2009 - Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement
Chief Dennis Tyndall is an active member of the FBI National Academy Associates, Lexington County Law Enforcement Officers Association (Life Member), South Carolina Police Chiefs Association, South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (Life Member). He currently serves on the Lexington County Narcotics Enforcement Team (Board Member) and the West Columbia Police Officers Foundation (Founder & Board Member).