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The Horry Independent
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January 19, 2012
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A12 THEHORRYINDEPENDENTICONWAY, S.C. I |.O{:AL I JANUARY 19, 2012 www.horryindependent.com Officer of the Year Senior Master Patrolman Mark Bobbitt recently earned the Conway Police Department's Officer of the Year award. HEATHER GALE \\; THE HOERY iNDEPENDENT Top Conway police officer molds other Conway cops BY HEATHER GALE STAFF WRITER One Conway police offi- cer knew at a young age that serving people was what he wanted to do with his life. Apparently he does it well, because Senior Master Patrolman Mark Bobbitt recently earned the Conway Police Department's Officer of the Year award. "We don't do this job to  thanked or recognized," e honoree said. "We do it to protect and serve the buOple4ta.t&o mmunity, tit iemrhOnor, and lain bumbled to be recognized." Originally from North Carolina, Bobbitt has been either serving his country or serving a community since he graduated from high school. "I spent 13 years in active duty in the U.S. Army and 13 years in the Army Reserves," he said. "In the military I did everything from working on missile systems to being a drill instructor. I went in right after high school and fol- lowed in my family's foot- steps." Bobbitt said he got into policing after retiring from the Army. "I have always admired police officers, and when I got out of the military I thought about what I could do to help the community and policing was the way to go," he said. Before coming to Conway in 2001, Bobbitt worked for police departments in Columbia and Myrtle Beach. "I love my job," he said. "It is not about me, but rather protecting and serv- "I am honored to come in and serve the community and protect the city on a daily basis. There is no greater honor for me. I try to give 120percent every day..." Mark Bobbitt CPD Officer of the Year ing the city, the police department and the people we work with and for. The ,city a2, l t125 community &s' "cry" %nb tss tl'a ''" -" best from us." As omastatrol- man,Bobbitt said he patrols the streets, serves as a field-training officer and learns something new every day. "As a field-training officer, I train officers in the field right after they come out of the Police Academy," he said. "They must complete the program before they can go on the road alone." The best part of the job is working with the people in the community, Bobbitt said. "We get to work with peo- ple from all walks of life, and we get to see what their lives are like and try to help them," he said. "It is very rewarding to be able to help someone whether it is find- ing and returning a bicycle to putting someone in jail who was wanted. We are serving the community and want to make it better." The Conway Police Department is like a family, he said. "We try to set a positive example for the community, and we work great together, are family oriented and we trust each other to do the best we can," he said. Cpl. Dale Long nominated Bobbitt for the award and said he exemplifies the char- acteristics that should be held by the department s officer of the year. "He is,well respected by , hispeors has demonstrated strong loyalty to Conway Police Department and its mission, and has sacrificed' in a number of ways to ensure its success," he said." Conway Police Chief Reginald Gosnell said Bobbitt's previous experi- ence in the military and in life bring a lot to the Conway Police Department. "We all look to him as a leader and as a role model," he said. "He is a great one to show his expertise and to train the younger officers. He teaches them to learn from his mistakes and is an asset to our department." Bobbitt lives in Conway with Kim, his wife of four years, and their dog Sasha. In his spare time, Bobbitt says he likes to stay fit, cook and play golf. "I am content with what I do every day, because it is different and a challenge every day," he said. "I am honored to come in and serve the community and protect the city on a daily basis. There is no greater honor for me. I try to give 120 percent every day and that is my reward." The Law Offices of Daniel Hunnicutt "LET US FIGHT FOR YOU" State champs The Scholars Academy's Ne The People' team swept the state competition Jan. 5, winning all six unit awards, along with the state championship. This is the first time in the history of the state competi- tion that one team has won every unit award. Coached by Georgia Holley, the team will represent South Carolina in the COURTESY natina competition in Washington, D.C., this spring. The 2011-2012 Scholars Academy 'We the People' team is com- posed of Nathan Beasley, Michael Crumpler, Alex Garland, Alyssa Lundy, Sarah Martin, Emily Rhorick, Tyler Rhorick, Joke Sheehan, Sean Thompson and Peter Yon. Seventh Congressional District candidates put on the hot seat BY CHARLES D. PERRY FOR THE INDEPENDENT Four Republican con- gressmen got to quiz some of the candidates vying to join them in Washington this past week. Ripley's Aquarium hosted the Saturday night forum for COP candidates in the 7th Congressional District race. But just six of the eight Republicans running paid the $300 entry fee to participate. Those who did were Horry County Council Chairman Tom Rice, Myrtle Beach City Councilman Randal Wallace, local televi- sion personality Monde Wilkes, Florence attomey lay Jordan, Myrtle Beach area businessman Jim Mader and South Strand resident DmkWithington. Candidates were sequestered so they cod- ; nt,hear the,questions irP advance. Each was allowed to give a short introductory speech followed by questions from representatives Tim Scott, Mick Mulvane Jeff Duncan and Joe Wilson. Wilson wanted to know how they would deal with Iran. Scott asked ff they would support offshore drilling. Duncan inquired about whether their values meshed with the other members of the GOP dele- gation. Muivaney asked the most specific question: He wanted to know what the candidates would do if Republican lawmakers needed their vote to pass a spending bill that would add to the country's debt. Passing it would stop a gov- ernment shutdown but could mean landing some projects in his or her dis- trict. Most of the candidates' responses were similar and played to the conservative audience. They espoused the virtues of offshore drilling, halting Iran's efforts to obtain nuclear weapons and cutting Washington spending. The only major contrarian was Withington, who previ- ously ran for office as a Democrat. He called the threat from Iran "grossly overblown." "I don't think we need to be going into another war," e said. .... Rice said he would sup- port offshore drilling. "The efltrgCy fsfhe; 6ffe: the coast of South Carolina is natural gas, [and that] puts us at a little less risk," he said. "We have got to explore every available energy resource. We have got to do whatever we can to become energy inde- pendent." Wilkes said she shared the GOP delegation's views on money management. 'Tin a no compromise fis- cal conservative," she said. In response to Mulvaney's question, Jordan said he wouldn't support a bill that pushed the country deeper into debt. "That bill is not going to pass if they're depending on my vote," he said. Mader also said spending should be brought under control. "If you can't afford it, don't do it," he said. "Don't mortgage our future." Wallace called drilling off South Carolina's coast "a no-bralner." "You could put thou- sands of people back to work," he said. The G0P candidates who did not participate were Renee Culler and Andre Bauer. Two well-known com- petitors pulled out of the race recently. State Rep. Thad Viers, R-Socastee, dropped out after his arrest on a harassment charge and Myrtle Beach business- woman Debbie Harwell withdrew because of her .husha.nd's failing healtlb,,, | 1 ;mt IIi 6fiiother gfip is planning to host the 7th district's GOP candidates. lerry Rovner, president of the Waccamaw Neck Republican Club, said his group will hold a free event on Jan. 26 for all the candi- dates in Litchfield. There are also five Democrats pursuing the seat: Myrtle Beach attorney Parnell Diggs, state Rep. Ted Vick, D-Chesterfield, Myrtle Beach lawyer Preston Brittain, North Myrtle Beach businessman Gary Stephens and Gloria Tinubu, a former Georgia politician. (3oing for a joy ride is exciting. ... Getting a great deal on your auto loan is even better! 3 2 Rates as low as e APR 36 months or less or as law as "r !-- 00,00APR 48-60 months Apply online at camlinatrustorg or call 448.2133 Trust CALL FOR YOUR FREE CONSULTATION 843-488-2424 1320 4th Ave. Unit B, Conway, SO, 29526