GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCBD) – James Kinley “Kin” McKenzie Jr. was sworn in this morning as Georgetown County’s newest magistrate. Judge McKenzie will serve the Murrells Inlet community, replacing former Judge John Benso, who retired on April 30, after eight years.
Public Information Officer Jackie Broach stated that McKenzie, an Inlet resident, worked in law enforcement for 34 years, including 27 years with the S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED). For the last 14 years with SLED, he was a captain over criminal investigations.
The oath of office was delivered to Judge McKenzie by Judge Tony Love, the associate chief magistrate, and magistrate in charge of central traffic court. McKenzie’s wife Vicki stood by his side during the oath.
McKenzie was also joined up front by Chief Magistrate Isaac L. Pyatt Sr. and Johnny Abraham, a friend, and colleague, who is a current SLED captain for the Pee Dee region.
McKenzie was appointed to the position by S.C. Sens. Stephen Goldfinch and Ronnie Sabb, Broach added.
“I’m looking forward to this job and I can tell from the very beginning that the staff here is excellent,” McKenzie said. We’re going to work together wonderfully and carry out the duties of this office.”
Judge Pyatt encouraged him not to be afraid to lean on his fellow magistrates when necessary.
“I promise you we will be there for you at any time,” he said. “The worst question is the question that has never been asked. We work together as a team here, and we push forward for justice and justice alone. We don’t have any special friends to honor, nor any enemy to punish. We’re here to seek justice, and I know for sure that’s your aim as well, because if it wasn’t you would not be standing here today.”
McKenzie said he was very active in the Boy Scouts, both as a child and an adult, according to the news release. He and his son were Eagle Scouts.
“There is a part of the Scout oath that says ‘on my honor, I will do my best,’ and that is my promise to the citizens of Georgetown County,” McKenzie said.
McKenzie officially began his new job at 1 p.m. today.