HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Council met Tuesday night and passed two resolutions involving more school resource officers, as well as a new bomb squad vehicle for Horry County police.
The resolutions were passed unanimously.
Council passed a resolution to allow HCPD to apply for a state-funded grant through the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. The grant would allow Horry County to hire seven school resource officers.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety has a state-funded school resource officer program. It helps school districts across South Carolina hire officers qualified for the job.
The county could receive up to $2 million to hire seven officers. Each officer would be place in seven schools across the district.
Horry County Deputy Police Chief Kris Leonhardt said if the county receives the grant, it would have a huge impact.
“Those officers will be class one officers assigned to the school. We look very forward to that, instituting that program again,” he said. “Getting back into community and serving, you know, relationship with the children and the officers.”
Leonhardt said they would look at both internal and external candidates qualified for the job.
“The external posting will require if you have some type of security officer experience with the schools or if you’ve been a school resource officer before or are a class one officer already,” he said.
Internal candidates would need to have an interest in serving within schools.
Council also approved $400,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act to go towards a new bomb squad vehicle.
Leonhardt says the current bomb squad vehicle is 20 years old and they desperately need a new and reliable one.
“We service the entire Horry County community,” he said. “We also serve as a backup to SLED, but the need for the vehicle was there due to the age of the older one, so it had to be replaced.”
Leonhardt said they hope to apply for the school resource officer grant on Wednesday and hear back from the state department soon.
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Adrianna Lawrence is a multimedia journalist at News13. Adrianna is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and joined the News13 team in June 2023 after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2023. Keep up with Adrianna on Instagram, Facebook, and X, formerly Twitter. You can also read more of her work, here.