Tag: merger

Committee Guarantees Independent Horry County Police Department

In a neatly orchestrated discussion to reach a predetermined conclusion, the Horry County Public Safety Committee determined an independent Horry County Police Department would remain the rule in the county.

Said in a slightly different way, there will be no opportunity for the voters to express themselves through a referendum on whether to merge the police department with the Horry County Sheriff’s Department because council is unwilling to give them the opportunity.

Horry County Attorney Arrigo Carotti told the committee it would require a three reading ordinance of council followed by a binding voter referendum to merge the departments.

Carotti said the ordinance had to be passed by August 15, 2016 in order to appear on the November 2016 general election ballot. Carotti said there was only one meeting of Horry County Council before the August date and special called meetings of council were only intended to address urgent issues between council meetings.

Obviously, there is no urgency on the part of council to allow the voters the opportunity to vote on the issue of a merger.

Carotti said low voter turnout consistent with special elections, the other possible alternative for a referendum, would not give a fair representation of the wishes of voters on the issue.

By that logic, there should not be any primary elections nor special elections for vacant offices because the wishes of the voters are not fairly represented by the 10 percent or less of voters who turn up at the polls to vote in them.

You can see this is not an issue that council is willing to take to the voters and this little dog and pony show was carefully designed to avoid that possibility.

Council Against Horry County Sheriff Merger

If the decision is left up to the politicians, the Horry County Sheriff merger with the Horry County Police Department won’t happen.

Horry County Council is building a case that it’s too costly and they don’t know who the next sheriff will be.

Restated the case is: the same voters who elected current council members aren’t to be trusted when it comes to electing a sheriff.

The county is also pointing to an approximately $650k price tag to repaint and remark the vehicles and buy such things as new badges and uniforms to replace the current HCPD stock.

I have a quick suggestion. The $650k is approximately the same price as the proposed new mobile command center county council and HCPD want to purchase. Quit with the Inspector Gadget mentality and the money is found.

The amount of public money Horry County Council and HCPD have wasted on gadgets and radios over the last 15 years is abominable. These are two groups who should never use spending public dollars as an excuse not to do something that makes sense, considering the number of things they have spent public money on that do not make sense.

The real issue, however, is what can be done to eliminate the culture of corruption that has existed in HCPD ranks, especially command ranks, over the last two or so decades.

Obviously hiring a new chief is not the answer. Four new chiefs have been hired over that period (two internal, two external) with little to no change.

The decision on whether or not to merge the Sheriff’s department with HCPD is one that the people should decide in a referendum.

And, the argument that we don’t know who will follow our current sheriff Phillip Thompson is bogus. We don’t know who is going to succeed our current council members either.