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Three Grand Strand, Pee Dee law enforcement officers inducted into S.C. Law Enforcement Hall of Fame

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – Three Grand Strand and Pee Dee law enforcement officers will forever have their names in the South Carolina Law Enforcement Hall of Fame.

Myrtle Beach police Pfc. Jacob Hancher, Horry County police Cpl. Michael Ambrosino and Florence Regional Airport Ofc. Jackson Winkeler were all inducted into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

It recognizes every law enforcement officer who has died in the line of duty. And while it’s an honor to be remembered, it’s not an honor anyone’s family ever expects.

“Seems like not too long ago, I was in the auditorium right next door for his induction as a South Carolina law enforcement officer, and never did I imagine fast forward a year that I would be in the room next door putting his plaque on the wall,” said Hancher’s mother, Suzanne Williams.

Hancher was shot and killed nearly a year ago on Oct. 3 when he was responding to a domestic violence call.

Williams said lining the walls of the Hall of Fame forever is what happens when someone is as brave as her son.

“Because of the fact that he was doing something he believed in, that he knew was heroic, tha he knew was difficult, but he chose that journey, it makes me very proud of him,” Williams said.

Hancher was just 23 years old when he was killed.

Winkeler, another young officer, was also put on the wall on Wednesday. He was killed during a traffic stop in January 2020.

Horry County police also lost one of their own in 2020. Ambrosino died of COVID-19 in August.

Horry County Police Chief Joe Hill said even after decades of service, the loss still hurts.

“It’s been tough for me. This is my second loss of an officer, and it never gets easy,” Hill said.

Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock was also at the ceremony. She said putting Hancher’s plaque up on the wall brought back a rush of memories because even though his time on the force was brief, he was also a community service officer.

“He loved his team, he loved serving his community, and he did that every day very intentionally,” Prock said.

In 2021, Horry County police lost Officer Melton Fox Gore in a crash while he was picking up debris along Highway 22, and Sgt. Gordon Best with the North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety was also killed in a crash in January. Both will be honored next year.Copyright 2021 WMBF. All rights reserved.