Horry County Public Safety Committee receives updates, sends animal ordinance to county council

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CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County’s Public Safety Committee met Tuesday to discuss hiring updates among a list of topics.

Horry County Fire Rescue officials said 70 new employees are on track to be hired with the academy starting Nov. 1. 911 Dispatch is in the process of training 19 of its newest hires.

The Horry County Police Department (HCPD) is in the process of training two South Carolina certified officers with hopes of hiring between six and 10 more officers by some time in November to fill the 30 patrol officer vacancies the department currently has.

“We want folks that are professional, service-minded, educated and willing to serve,” said Ken Davis, Horry County Police deputy chief. “And we’re getting that because that’s who we have working for us.”

Between Aug. 30 and Sept. 24, HCPD said it arrested 79 people as a result of a task force targeting drug sales and violent crimes in the Socastee area. The task force also seized a total of 33 guns and more than $13,000. The department said 16 people on wanted lists ended up in jail.

The month-long focus on the Socastee area is the second time the department has zeroed in on crime in a particular corner of the county. For four weeks in June and July, HCPD practiced what it calls “hot-spot policing” in the Loris and Longs areas of the county.

“So all in all it was a very successful two months, said Matt Treitler, Horry County Police sergeant. “We plan on continuing this throughout the county, hitting specific areas. Hopefully, the next one will be after the first of the year and we’ll be able to continue seeing a decrease in crime based on our efforts.”

The committee also sent a revised ordinance back up to Horry County Council. The proposed ordinance would offer animals in Horry County better protection and has been in front of county council before.

The revisions included more specific language when it comes to sheltering, breeding operations, animal sales, transportation of animals and calls for the addition of community cat care.

Among the revisions is a clarification to the definition of sufficient water, now allowing for veterinarian prescribed exceptions. Another change is the addition that a doghouse is not adequate protection for pets against extreme heat.

“We’re excited to get back to County Council and get things moving again,” said Lynn Greco of the Animal Voice Alliance.

The Animal Voice Alliance has been pushing for the ordinance and worked with the Horry County Police Department on the ordinance.

“By having the new law changing, together, we can reduce the number of homeless pets in Horry County and therefore reduce the workload of abused animals as well,” said Justin Wyatt, captain with Horry County Police.

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