HORRY COUNTY S.C. (WBTW) — Missing persons and runaway cases are on the rise in Horry County, according to the police department, leading to a request for 13 more detectives.

So far this year, the department has opened up more than 250 cases of both missing persons and runaways, and that number is expected to continue to grow.

The Horry County Police Department currently has 37 detectives, but none are dedicated specifically to missing person cases.

“We’re trying to assign a couple of folks to work nothing but missing person cases in our investigations division,” HCPD Deputy Chief Kenneth Davis said. “It’s more efficient that way, and we’ll be able to cover more ground with two folks that are doing it full time.”

Department leaders said it takes a lot of investigative effort to determine if a person is missing or they don’t want to be found.

Leaders said adding more detectives will give them the support needed to do so.

“Everything we get until we prove otherwise is missing persons case, that comes in with that moniker, even runaways as well,” Davis said. “We have quite a few runway cases that we work, but we work it in until we find the person.”

Other detectives would work on white-collar and fraud cases, hiring, narcotics enforcement, the major crimes unit, and the property crimes unit.

“When we add detectives, we try to keep pace with what crime trends that we’re seeing, and that is one of the things we’ve tried to do over the last serval years,” Davis said.

Officials said all of the additions to the budget would not require a tax or millage increase.