Horry County police officer dies after battle with COVID-19

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — An Horry County Police Officer died Wednesday after a battle with COVID-19, according to Horry County.

Cpl. Michael Ambrosino was an officer with more than 32 years of service, the county said. He was with HCPD for more than seven years. He served on the South Precinct Patrol, Beach Patrol, Honor Guard, and Team Leader for the SWAT Negotiations Team.

“Every day Cpl. Ambrosino came to work, he put his all into helping others, fellow officers and community members alike, and doing it with a smile and wry humor,” the county said.

Wednesday night, the friends and co-workers of Michael Ambrosino are remembering him as someone who put his all in helping others and did it with a smile on his face.

“Just a delightful guy, but out of all the jokes and all the pranks and all of the hard work, he’s going to be remembered as a public servant that paid the ultimate price,” 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said.

Richardson, who had COVID-19 back in June said it’s a fear all essential employees face.

“It’s a shame, he really died in the line of duty protecting and serving and it’s different than a lot of the times you see where an officer gets shot or in a wreck, but it’s no less deadly,” Richardson said.

Since the news of Ambrosino’s passing, dozens of messages from members of the community, co-workers, and friends expressed their condolences and thoughts on social media.

“As a public servant, as a father, and just as a community member it’s just real tough to be dealing with his loss,” Richardson said.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced. Richardson asks to keep Ambrosino’s family, his work family, and his friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Read the full statement from the county:

CONWAY, S.C. (AUG. 19, 2020) – Horry County Police Department is deeply saddened to recognize the tragic and untimely death of one of our own, Cpl. Michael Ambrosino, who passed away after a prolonged fight against COVID-19 and the complications that followed.

Cpl. Ambrosino was an accomplished law enforcement officer with more than 32 years in service. More than seven years were spent with Horry County Police Department, where he served on South Precinct Patrol, Beach Patrol, Honor Guard, and as a Team Leader for the SWAT Negotiations Team. Every day Cpl. Ambrosino came to work, he put his all into helping others—fellow officers and community members alike—and doing it with a smile and wry humor. He epitomized honor, commitment, pride, and dedication.

Outside of work, Cpl. Ambrosino was always on the move, always active, always doing something fun, especially in the great outdoors. He regularly competed in races and mud runs, as well as went on trips and adventures with his family and friends. You could count on him for a prank or a story, and often both at once.

Before joining the HCPD family, Cpl. Ambrosino served with the New York State Department of Corrections, Philmont Police Department (NY), and Coxsackie Police Department (NY). Everywhere he worked, the Corporal gained the respect and friendship of all who knew him.

Chief of Police Joseph Hill said, “The loss of an active member of our agency is one of my worst fears as your Chief, but I also know how strong we are as an HCPD family and will be there for Mike’s family in the days, weeks and months to come.”

HCPD is sending love and support to Cpl. Ambrosino’s family during this incredibly difficult time. The family has asked for privacy as they grieve, and HCPD requests on their behalf that that wish be honored. Our officers are leaning on one another, just as we know Cpl. Ambrosino always allowed us to lean on him.

Assistant Administrator Randall Webster added, “My deepest condolences are with the family and friends of Cpl. Ambrosino. Our entire Public Safety family is mourning the loss of one of our brothers and friends. He was a wonderful person and officer and he will be missed.”

Horry County Administrator Steve Gosnell provided the following statement: “This is a difficult day for our organization. The loss of Cpl. Ambrosino is a loss for Horry County and on behalf of Horry County Government I offer our sympathies and our heartfelt prayers to his family and friends.”

As friends, family, and co-workers of Cpl. Ambrosino process this great loss, all are encouraged to seek whatever support they may need. County employees are reminded that free counseling services are available through the Employee Assistance Program, as well as departmental peer-support teams.

Cpl. Ambrosino will always be a part of the HCPD and Horry County family, and he will never be forgotten. We’ve got the watch from here.

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