A memorial for North Myrtle Beach Police Sgt. Gordon Best now has funding, thanks to a raffle by Cormac Arms and Outfitters, which handles the firearm and uniform needs of North Myrtle police.
Best died in a wreck while responding to call in the early morning hours of New Year's Day. He was 30 years old and left behind his wife, Taylor, and two children.
On Monday, Cormac co-owner Douglas Kahn presented North Myrtle Beach Police Chief Tommy Dennis with a check after the raffle for a wooden thin blue line flag, two Cormac gift cards and a TriStart shotgun raised over $10,000.
“Everyone at Cormac is retired law enforcement, military or a first responder,” Kahn said. “So this is kind of our way to give back to the community and help out. Especially when a department has lost its first officer ever, we wanted to raise money for their memorial. We thought it would be a great way to recognize Sgt. Best.”
Dennis said the department was thinking about putting up a stone or marble monument to Best, and maybe a garden, at police headquarters.
“We really haven’t had much time to think about it,” Dennis said. “Our top priority has been getting all the benefits available to the Best family. As far as the memorial goes, it’s coming. The planning’s really kind of lacking right now; we haven’t got that far. This is a great start, obviously.”
Just four hours into New Year's Day, North Myrtle Beach police Sgt. Gordon William Best “gav…
Dennis said the young sergeant seemed destined for a leadership role.
“He rode with me when I was a sergeant,” Dennis said. “I was impressed with him at that point. He’s had ambition and always wanted to be a cop. It was no surprise he made [sergeant] when he did. Everyone loved Gordon. He was an intelligent guy.”
His intelligence was a trait not lost on his family. He first met his in-laws during Christmastime eight or nine years ago.
“He came to our house to date our daughter,” said Best’s mother-in-law, Deana Gore. “I was thinking, ‘What in the world has she brought up here in those skinny jeans?’”
But he quickly made a good first impression.
“He was very smart, he was very well-mannered,” she added. “Seemed liked a good person.”
His father-in-law, Gregg Gore, said he first met Best during Christmas dinner.
“He comes in the house, my mother-in-law’s house, with skinny jeans and a V-neck t-shirt,” he said. “I said ‘Good Lord, what’s my daughter drug up here now?’ because of his skinny jeans. After we left and got through eating, my son told me and his mom, he said, ‘That’s going to be your son-in-law.’ And he was right.”
As a son-in-law, Gordon was “the best, just like his name,” Gregg Gore said. “He confided in me a lot if he had any questions about anything. He would call me and say ‘I wanted to pick your brain just a minute and get your opinion,’ and I would tell him whatever he asked. Or he’d call me, ‘You think y’all have time to watch the baby? I have some training coming up,’ or something like that. He’d let you know ahead of time and we always obliged when we could. He was a good man, a good dad. My daughter had never pumped gas in her car but twice.”
Gregg Gore recalled helping Best install a rail system with PVC pipe in his in-law’s garage so that he could unbolt his boat’s T-Top and lay it down and store it the garage without help. Best had waited seven years to get that boat.
“He got her car, her house, her ring and everything in order,” Gregg Gore said. “He finally got his boat.” When he installed the PVC system, Best “was tickled to death about that because he could take the boat out by himself and not have to call me.”
Deana Gore said she couldn’t have asked for a better son-in-law. Best came into the barbershop where she worked to get a haircut every two weeks.
The last time she saw him was the Thursday before his death when he came in for a trim. He gave her a hug.
“You be careful,” Deana told him. “He said, ‘I will.’
“I just know that he died doing what he loved doing and he was determined to make a difference,” she added. “I feel that he did in the short time here was here.”