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West Columbia police chief retiring, second Lexington County top cop to depart in a month

West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall

West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall is retiring after serving West Columbia for 37 years. Anna M. Huffman/City of West Columbia 

WEST COLUMBIA — West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall, the city’s longest-serving top cop, is retiring after 37 years with the department.

“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."

Tyndall’s retirement comes a month after the police chief in neighboring Cayce, Byron Snellgrove, announced his retirement. Snellgrove plans to retire at the end of the year, after a 38-year police career.

Tyndall started in West Columbia as a patrolman in 1984 and became chief in 1997.

Throughout his time in West Columbia, a Lexington County town of 18,000 just over the Congaree River from Columbia, Tyndall won numerous awards.

In 2008, the S.C. Law Enforcement Officers Association recognized him as the law enforcement officer of the year. A year later, he was honored with a Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement given by the U.S. Attorney's office in South Carolina.

“He has set the standard and provided the leadership that has made our police department the great, professional department it is,” West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles said in a statement.

Tyndall is a board member on the Lexington County Narcotics Enforcement Team and the West Columbia Police Officers Foundation. He is also a life member of the Lexington County Law Enforcement Officers Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

“His leadership and commitment will be missed, but we congratulate him on this next chapter of his life,” City Administrator Brian Carter said in a statement. “Chief Tyndall has dedicated his life to the City of West Columbia and our police department is better for it.”

Tyndall will remain with the police department during the search for his successor.

Follow Kailey Cota on Twitter (@kaatoc). 

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