Internal memo from HCPD critical of Horry County Schools’ handling of threats

Grand Strand Crime
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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – A deputy chief with the Horry County Police Department says “there is a disturbing trend” in threats to schools, students, and faculty.

In an internal memo sent by Deputy Chief Lance A. Winburn said, “There is a disturbing trend in regard to threats to schools or threats to  students and faculty. For whatever reason, some of our schools are not calling for police until they have already investigated for themselves and sometimes already disciplined students and sent them home.”

“This dangerous lack of response has been brought to our school district’s attention, yet still occurs,” Chief Deputy Winburn said in the memo.

The memo was sent around 7:45 a.m. on December 11.

He also told members of the department “when you are called to these type incidents to generate reports, please include in your reports the time of the incident, when the school was notified and when police were notified.”

Mikayla Moskov, with the Horry County Police Department, released a statement to News13 saying:

“Horry County Police Department is working in continued partnership with Horry County Schools to ensure all threats to schools or students are addressed quickly and efficiently. We will continue to educate personnel and adjust response protocols as needed to ensure the safety of our students and educators, which is critical for the Horry County Police Department.”

On Friday afternoon, Lisa Bourcier with Horry County Schools released the following statement to our newsroom:

HCS continues to work closely with our local law enforcement partners regarding various issues/topics to include school threats. We will continue to educate and review threat protocols with our 161 school administrators (principals and assistant principals) to help ensure the safety of our students, staff and school campuses.

Lisa Bourcier, Horry County Schools spokesperson

In a special report in November, News13 investigated how the state of South Carolina is responding to school threats.

In February 2018, News13 reported that Horry County Schools responded to “careless yet harmful comments” made by students at different schools threatening or suggesting violence.

Count on News13 for updates.

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