York County deputy shot in 2018 ambush wins award for work with K-9s

A York County sergeant who was shot during an ambush in 2018 that left one law enforcement officer dead was honored this weekend for his work as a K-9 trainer.                   

Sergeant Randy Clinton was given the Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement. The awards are given to four South Carolina law enforcement officers each year at city, county, state and federal levels. Clinton won the award on the county category. 

Sgt. Clinton began his career in 1984 and became involved in K-9 handling at the York County Sheriff’s Office in 1988.

"During his tenure as a canine team member and leader at the York County Sheriff’s Office, Sergeant Clinton has been personally involved in over 4000 tracks resulting in approximately 2500 locates or captures.  These incidents have ranged from missing vulnerable persons, to persons eluding law enforcement for simple crimes to murders."


For the past 19 years, Clinton has coordinated and hosted the annual York County Bloodhound Tracking School and has instituted a bloodhound breeding program that has provided more than 75 bloodhounds to law enforcement offices in SC, NC, GA and WV. He is nationally recognized as an expert in human and bloodhound tracking. 

In January 2018, Sgt. Clinton was seriously injured in an ambush that left four officers injured, one of whom later died. Clinton needed surgery and had a long road to recovery, but a year after the shooting, he returned to work.

"His positive attitude and outlook in the following days and months inspired and helped the healing process for those affected, as well as the community." 

The Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement were established by Senator Strom Thurmond in 1983 to recognize law enforcement officers whose performance demonstrates the highest ideals of excellence in professional law enforcement.  

“It is without fail that Sergeant Clinton comes through for those in need. It is the act to which his life’s focus has been, though he remains humble in his actions of service and sacrifice,” said The Honorable Bruce M. Bryant, Representative, District 48, South Carolina House of Representatives.