Serving the Community — PFC/FTO William Tolson, Summerville Police Department
A broken neck, broken back, broken shoulder, broken clavicle, two collapsed lungs and a blood clot on the brain only slowed William Tolson, 43, of Summerville down for a few months…six to be exact and then he was back on the job.
Tolson was a motorcycle cop in 2008 with SPD, when, leading a funeral cortege, a car pulled in front of him and, unable to the lay the bike down he hit it, sailing over the first car and into a second.
In spite of the severity of his injuries that required him to be airlifted from the scene, he was right back at work even though one lung is still partially collapsed. He laughs and jokes, “gotta make a paycheck.”
And when he went back to work, he went “right back to traffic…but in a car.”
He no longer rides cycles because of the rods and pins in his body. “I used to do the motorcycle rodeo skill riding competitions,” he said.
Now, he uses a special security entrance at the airport.
In addition to patrol and, currently traffic, he is also a certified accident reconstructionist, radar certified and Data Master (breath alcohol) operator.
He has served law enforcement for 21 years, 10 with North Charleston Police and 11 with Summerville.
“My dad was an officer for 33 years, first with Charleston County Police Department and then North Charleston.”
A graduate of Stall High School in North Charleston, Tolson went right into police work.
His worst experience in law enforcement, he says, was a traffic fatality involving a small child while he was with NCPD.
He has no real best experience, just the pride and satisfaction of knowing his work helps reduce collisions and fatality rates.
His pet peeve? Texting while driving.
He and his wife Kristal, are the parents of Anson, 6; Briana, 13 and Hailey, 16 and Cody…a white Lab. A white Lab, he says, comes from crossing a Chocolate Lab with a Black Lab.
He enjoys being home with his family, hunting and fishing.
He doesn’t cook because “I would burn it up.” He and his family enjoying boating, TV and going to the movies. His professional goal? “To make it to retirement.”
When he’s not joking around, he does share that he could see himself moving up in rank maybe to a corporal. Any aspirations to be top dog? “The chief can have that job, I like what I do, I like educating the public, I like enforcing traffic law.”
And in life?
“My wife wants to move to the beach [when he retires]. And what does he want? With the wisdom all husbands should have, “what my wife wants.”