CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Two years ago, four York County officers were ambushed and shot while searching for a domestic violence suspect.
While three of those officers survived, Detective Mike Doty would later die from his injuries.
Today, the community is honoring Doty and a mission that was passionate to him.
Detective Doty worked passionately to prevent substance abuse and those efforts are still being felt today. Work is underway to make sure that continues.
As an Alcohol Enforcement Team officer, Doty worked closely with Keystone, York County’s only public substance abuse prevention center, to help prevent underage drinking and substance abuse.
Keystone Executive Director Danielle Russell says Doty would go into the community and talk with restaurant owners about selling to underage youth.
“He was a part of going out and telling those restaurant owners- we cannot sell to underage youth and giving those people citations to really try to make an enforcement change,” Russell said.
Russell describes that as Detective Doty’s passion, as he, and his fellow officers, were dedicated to getting results.
“Our AET team when we first started, we had restaurants, about 35% - were selling to underage youth. Since our alcohol enforcement team took off - we’re now actually for the first time under 5%," Russell said.
Those numbers were steadily declining during Doty’s service. Today, donations from the 809 Foundation, a charity setup in Doty’s memory by family and friends, continue to help keep those numbers down.
Russell says the money also helps to support other prevention efforts – and they hope the first ever Detective Mike Doty Memorial Run will help fund even more.
“This race is really important us and to so many other people in the community because we get to honor not only a legacy, a hero, but we also get to spread our mission of helping others that might need a little bit more help in getting them onto a safe and healthy road of success,” said Keystone AET Prevention Coordinator Alex Greenawalt.
Greenawalt says that’s a mission Doty believed in - and for that reason keeps a reminder of him at her desk- to Never Forget.
“Do it for Doty! And that’s really what we’re doing here, continuing his legacy especially with alcohol enforcement team and saving one life at a time and really working with these youth in the community to prevent substance use disorders,” Greenawalt said.
Registration is underway for the March 14 race at Walter Elisha Park in Fort Mill. The race now includes a 10K, 5K, Fun Run and even a sleep-in for the cause option if you can’t make it.
In honor of Doty’s memory, York County is going BLUE Friday. People are encouraged to wear blue and businesses are asked to decorate in blue to pay tribute.
“This time 2-years ago all of us at the #YCSOFamily were just trying to comprehend the events that took place in the early morning of January 16, 2018. We were grieving, crying, hugging, but mostly feeling the incredible support of the York County community,” the York County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook, sharing Part 2 of their documentary series “The Many Heroes.”
Friday morning, officers are holding “BLUE OUT PLUS," a very special tribute from the members of Doty’s SWAT team.
For more information on or to register for the Detective Mike Doty Memorial Run, click here.