Horry County public safety departments to work on adding staff after budget passes

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – Horry County is looking to make some hires for its public safety departments as the next budget year approaches.

Some departments face staffing shortages. But the budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 aims in part to bolster staffing at the agencies that keep Horry County residents safe.

“I’m not willing on gambling on the safety of the people in Horry County,” county councilman Danny Hardee said during a meeting last week. “When we’re looking at a thing where you may get a ‘hold please,’ when you call 911. We’re at that point right now.”

Hardee said that moments before council approved the budget for next year. The budget was the source of an impassioned debate during the meeting, with many councilmembers emphasizing the need for additional public safety resources, and others expressing concern over raising taxes.

“We got 69 million dollars plus 26 million dollars from hospitality fee and we’re talking about a tax increase? That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard,” Councilmember Harold Worley said during the meeting.

Horry County staff told News13 Wednesday that after the vote to pass the budget, the county will be working to add facilities, equipment and staffing to its public safety divisions.

The budget calls for 195 new public safety division positions. That includes 43 for the police department, 110 for fire rescue and 20 at E911.

The county said it’ll share its next steps in this process over the coming weeks and months. The new budget goes into effect July 1.

Count on News13 for updates.

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