Charleston County Master Deputy Antonio "Tony" Brooks

Master Deputy Antonio Brooks, a hometown hero to many who know him.

He was raised in North Charleston’s Dorchester-Waylyn community and graduated from Garrett High School.

At an early age, he saw personally how domestic violence and crime affect people. He also noticed negative stereotypes of law enforcement, but he saw a greater need for it.

“I didn’t have a positive role model at that age,” he said. “I wanted to be that role model, so that’s why I became a sheriff’s deputy.”

After spending time as a retail store manager, he was recruited to the Sheriff’s Office in 2011 as a detention deputy. He switched to the law enforcement side a year after that.

After time in the Animal Control Unit and Patrol divisions, he was selected for his current assignment as a school resource officer at James Island Elementary.

The assignment fits Deputy Brooks. He is married and has three children, and he and his wife are raising a niece whose mother was killed by a drunken driver.

He’s also a SWAT team member and helps fellow deputies with fitness. Brooks can bench press 450 pounds and deadlift 500.

On top of his heavy work demands, he stays involved in his childhood community and serves as a great role model to many who have met him.

“I’m mentoring kids now, trying to be that positive role model I didn’t have,” he said. “It makes the day go by fast when you have that purpose.”

Black History Month is a time to celebrate African American citizens’ contributions to society. Every Monday and Thursday this month, we’re also celebrating employees like Deputy Brooks who have made a mark on the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office in the past and the present.