YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - On January 16, 2018, the lives of those who were friends and family members of York County Sheriff’s Detective Mike Doty changed forever.
Detective Doty was one of many officers in York County who were involved in a manhunt for a man wanted for assaulting his wife on that cold January evening. As officers were searching for him, they were ambushed. Four officers were shot. Detective Mike Doty died on the following day.
On the anniversary of his death, his friends and family are urging you to help them keep his legacy alive. Shortly after Doty’s death, they founded the 809 Foundation.
“809 was Mike’s badge number,” Board Member Sarah Hopfer said.
Hopfer says the mission of the 809 Foundation is to carry on Doty’s legacy through three efforts he was passionate about: substance abuse prevention, youth mentoring and community unity.
“Anything that Mike was passionate about we wanted to tie back into,” Hopfer said.
In the last year, the Foundation has raised more than $10,000 and donated it to Keystone Substance Abuse Services, an organization they say Doty was heavily involved with. They say they have also donated to various students scholarships through the Sheriff’s Office explorer’s program.
The Foundation has also started a hashtag on social media called #DoItforDoty. Board member and family friend Lisa Moseley says it’s part of the Foundation’s campaign to promote random acts of kindness. They say caring and kindness is what Doty was all about.
“It was never a question of who to call, it was always Mike,” Moseley said.
Moseley says she has known Doty for more than 20 years. Doty, his twin brother Chris and her husband were best friends. She says she didn’t realize how caring and helpful Doty was until he died.
Mike was always that person that you relied on. He was always that person that if you needed something like you’re moving or you just wanted to hang out at Starbucks, he was the person you would go to,” Moseley said. “As time has gone on this year, we’ve heard so many stories. It wasn’t just his friends that he was there for. It was people that he woked with, their family that had issues he would drive out of town to help them.”
They hope the community will continue his legacy by showing random acts of kindness themselves. She says seeing his legacy carried on helps them heal.
“It’s going to be a long healing process for so many people just because he was in so many lives. It has helped because we can see the good that has come out of it,” Moseley said.
Thursday, the anniversary of Doty’s death, the Foundation is urging the community to take part in the “Blue Out.” They say businesses on Main Street in Fort Mill and homeowners in York County will be switching their outdoor lights with blue light bulbs. The display is in honor Detective Doty, but also shows support for law enforcement officers who are still serving.
“We always here they signed up for that, it’s part of the job,” Moseley said about officers being hurt on the job. “Nobody signs up to go through that.”
On January 26, 2018 the Foundation is partnering with Hungry Heroes. They will be providing meals for first responders including law enforcement, firefighters, EMS and some military groups. They are inviting the community to join in on the event and use the time to thank first responders for their service. The event will be held at 524 Heckle Boulevard in Rock Hill, SC.