Horry County hopes to hire 15 new police officers to help staff new Carolina Forest precinct using federal COPS grant

Grand Strand

CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) – Horry County leaders hope to hire 15 new police officers to help staff a new precinct that’s planned in the Carolina Forest area in the next three to five years.

A portion of the new officers’ salaries initially would be paid for through a three-year, $7.5 million U.S. Justice Department COPS grant that requires $5.6 million in matching funds. The county’s Public Safety Committee Tuesday morning approved a resolution recommending approval of the grant application by members of the County Council.

Horry County currently has 260 officers, and Police Chief Joseph Hill said the department is currently recruiting to fill 15 positions after receiving a similar Community Oriented Policing Services grant in 2020.

“We applied for the same grant last year, and it’s been very successful,” Hill said. “We’re currently recruiting for those positions.”

The 2021 grant would be for three years, after which the county would be responsible for all costs associated with the new officers. The grant would cover a maximum of 75% of the salary and benefits for an entry-level, first-year career for three years.

The county would get $797,715.23 from the Justice Department in year one of the grant, $815,045.25 in year two and $262,239.53 in year three.

The county’s share would be $2,009,885.93 in year one, $699,490.45 in year two and $1,287,195.85. The county would also be required to maintain all positions funded by the grant for at least one year after the grant period ends, at a cost of $1,585,587.69. The county’s annual share also includes the cost of overtime, vehicles, physicals, professional services, uniforms, training and other accessories.

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