HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The Horry County Police Department is working to form a new unit to fight crime and has applied for a grant to help pay for it. 

The department is forming a crime intelligence unit, and funding from the Project Safe Neighborhoods grant would help move that forward.

“It’s a violent crime center grant for project safe streets and communities,” Deputy Chief of Operations, Kenneth Davis said.

The department could receive more than $313,000 if the grant is approved.

“It allows us to ask for equipment or individuals in certain aspects that help us serve our community a little more efficiently,” Davis said.

HCPD would like to hire two criminal intelligence detectives with the grant, Davis said. The department recently hired its first crime analyst.

This is part of Chief Joseph Hill’s efforts to form a crime intelligence unit.

“His vision, as it stands, is to try to increase our ability to work on linkage and crime typologies and that type of thing,” Davis said. “So that’s kind of where this is leaning.”

Months of investigating led Horry County police to dozens of illegal guns and drugs last month. The grant would help with more time-consuming and challenging cases like that.

“Narcotics investigations and violent crime, just criminal investigations in general, the environment is always fluid,” Davis said. “Information is important to be able to solve these crimes. We’re in hopes that we can start linking these bits of information together so we can be more efficient in our pursuit of suspects.”

And as the county grows, Davis said the department does, too.

“It will increase our ability to move efficiently or more crimes,” he said. “In other words, more than just a single crime, it may be a group of crimes or a block of crime simultaneously.”

The department doesn’t not expect to know whether it will get the grant until the fall, Davis said.