HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County Coroner Robert Edge says he’s seen an increase in cases come through his office this year compared to any other year.
Edge is hoping Horry County council will give his office another coroner in next year’s budget to help with the demand.
When Edge became Horry County coroner over 30 years ago, things were different.
“We probably didn’t do 150 calls a year, I did it all by myself and today we’re doing 5 to 6 calls a day,” he said.
Now, the number of cases is growing, five to ten percent every year, according to Edge.
“We’ll hit that 2,200, 2,300 mark easily this year,” said Edge.
And, for an office with only six coroners, it’s hard to keep up.
“If one person is out, then that means that one of us others has to fall back and pick up the slack due to them being out and I can’t blame them for wanting to take time off, if I were in that position I’d do it too,” he said.
Edge says the enhancements they asked for in the 2019 Horry County budget weren’t given.
“Things were a little different this year,” he said. “We changed, our administrator left, public safety director left, you know, normally we present a working budget and then we have enhancements that we ask for, and the enhancements that we had asked for didn’t come through, but two years ago, we did get a person.”
He says no matter how many calls come in, they adjust.
“We try to make do with what we have, and keep on going,” he said.
He says there’s one thing council can do to help the office keep up.
“If we could get one every couple of years, and keep growing that way, I think we’ll be in good shape,” he said.
Edge tells News13 that he hopes Horry County council will give the office a seventh coroner in 2020’s budget.
That would total about $100,000 in the budget, which would include salary, benefits, and a vehicle for that coroner.