“It should be a concern:” Horry County Sheriff’s Office proposes new security equipment

Grand Strand

Tuesday, the Horry County Sheriff’s Office proposed safety equipment and personnel upgrades for the government center to the Public Safety Committee.

They proposed nearly $124,500 worth of equipment upgrades and nearly $250,569 worth of personnel upgrades to the government center.

“It’s one of those things that nobody thinks about, security in a public access building like the administrative building, until something happens,” said Horry County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tom Fox.

Chief Deputy Fox reminded the Horry County Public Safety Committee that what happened in San Bernardino, California in 2015 could happen anywhere.

That’s why the Horry County Sheriff’s Office is proposing things like new surveillance cameras, access card readers, and metal detectors for the government center.

The proposal includes one walk-through metal detector at the security checkpoint and five digital handheld metal detector wands.

“This is probably what you’d call the Cadillac version of addressing the problem,” said Fox.

Several committee members mentioned the same question, “We need to figure out how we’re going to pay for it first.”

The proposal would add an x-ray inspection system, and five barriers on the outside of the building to protect the atrium area from vehicle crashes.

“I think it should be a concern because of the vulnerability of the atrium, given access for a blast to both buildings,” said Fox.

They will also hire four court security officers to staff the security checkpoint.

Fox says facial recognition is the future, and that the new equipment will have that capability.

“If you’ve got somebody, ex-employee that you think may be a problem, we can just punch him into the computer and recognize them if they access the building,” he said.

The committee recognizes the importance of safety in the building, but questions where it will get the money.

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