Officer Doyle returns to patrol duty; Central High offers surprise sendoff

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

A local officer is graduating from a lengthy assignment. Staff and students at Central High School found a unique way to honor their liaison officer, now returning to patrol duty with the Rapid City Police Department.

Officer Tim Doyle has concluded his service at Central after working for the school for 7 years. He completes his assignment at the end of the school year, June 20.

“I think it finally sunk in that I’m leaving," Doyle said. "It comes in little pieces that I’m not going to be here.”

The entire school came together Thursday to create a personalized video that expressed their appreciation. Doyle was showered with gifts, including a key to the high school with a written message, "Once a Cobbler, always a Cobbler."

But a parade-style recognition was the ultimate surprise.

“He’s really helped us build some of the things that we’ve started here over the years," said Central High School Principal Mike Talley. "Our student mentoring program, some of the other activities that we host here every year.” 

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Staff and students packed the hallways to cheer Doyle on with a parade, complete with a marching band. It was a chance to say share good wishes for the officer who has been with the school since 2010.

“I’ve been at Central longer than I’ve been anywhere else on this job,” Doyle said.

The officer will move on to bike patrol, but he knows this isn’t goodbye.

“I made my life-long friends here," Doyle said. "I know I’m going to see some of these kids out here too - most of them in a good way. I’ll be back. This is my second home now.” 

It's a significant moment for Doyle, who survived an attack on his life in 2011. That attack took the lives of officers James Ryan McCandless and Nick Armstrong, and left Doyle with a gunshot wound and a wired jaw.

May 11-17 is National Police Week, aimed at reflecting on contributions officer make and honoring those lost.

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