HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – The Horry County Police Department released data on murders, assaults, theft and other statistics from 2019.
Service calls reached a record high last year, at almost 117,000. Chief Joseph Hill tells News13 he’s asking for 20 new officers and additional staff over the next five years to help with that increase.
“A good year for the police department means a good year for the community,” said Chief Hill. “A reduction in crime, a reduction in fear of crime.”
The main reduction, a decrease in murders and non-negligent manslaughter in Horry County by half from 2018 to 2019.
Police Chief Hill says that’s been his goal for the three years since he’s been Chief, and that he wants that number, 10 in 2019, to eventually get down to zero.
“It’s not just Horry County, but all the agencies that serve our citizens and our visitors, to look for these folks that continually cause problems in our community, that will assault and kill our community members, and we’re going after them hard and fast,” he said.
2019’s data report says there were 154 forcible rapes in the county in 2018, and that number rose to 170 last year.
“What we would hope is that more folks are comfortable with law enforcement to report crimes that are occurring against them,” said Chief Hill.
“Beep before you sleep,” it’s the campaign the police department has pushed to prevent theft from vehicles, and Chief Hill points out a lot of the theft rings coming into the county come from out of state, but HCPD works with law enforcement in those states to combat it.
“There was a ring going around from Georgia to here, stealing stuff from gym parking lots and daycare parking lots,” he recalled. “Well, we just made an apprehension, based on some tips that we gave to Georgia.”
If Horry County Council’s budget is approved and the department gets the one to 20 officers they’ve requested, after July 1, they can start hiring for that.
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