FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — A new violent crimes task force in Florence aims to increase collaboration between city and county law enforcement officers.

The city council unanimously approved a resolution to create the task force Monday.

Chief Allen Heidler of the Florence Police Department said one of the key issues it will help solve is a lack of manpower.

“Manpower issues affect law enforcement across our nation right now, and it’s not something that doesn’t affect Florence City and Florence County,” Heidler said.

He said the task force will allow the Florence Police Department and the Florence County Sheriff’s Office to share officers and information.

“This is a boon for both of us because we can combine our resources,” he said.

Heidler said the task force will be modeled after a similar one in that exists in York County, and he plans to travel there for research.

“The first thing was getting this resolution passed so we can start the process of putting this team together,” he said.

The memorandum of agreement between the two agencies outlines the task force’s responsibilities, which include enforcing state, county and city laws as well as disrupting violent crime and drug trafficking.

“We’ll be able to share information more rapidly with each other and make decisions as to how this team operates on a daily basis,” Heidler said.

He said violent crimes aren’t limited to just one jurisdiction and he hopes the task force will help both agencies be more effective.

“We have so much of the violent crime, especially violent gun crime, that’s occurring in the city and flowing over into the county,” Heidler said.

Once formed, the task force’s governing body will meet once a month. Heidler and Sheriff TJ Joye will also meet for daily assessments.

The council also voted to rename the water treatment plant on Florence Harllee Boulevard after former Mayor Frank Willis, who died last month. His wife, Marguerite, addressed the council and members shared memories of him.

The city received a $20,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation. Mindy Taylor of Duke Energy presented Florence Fire Chief Shannon Tanner with the check, which he said will be used for training and new equipment for search and rescue operations.