Tag: Phillip Thompson

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.

Time for Horry County Sheriff Referendum

It is time for the citizens of Horry County to answer a referendum question ‘should all county law enforcement responsibility be turned back to the Horry County Sheriff?’

Unfortunately, this is something that Horry County Council must approve and, if information from a number of sources is accurate, the political will to approve a referendum vote is not a majority view of county council members at present.

Horry County Council members must answer the question, ‘are county citizens better off with the current system, which gives most law enforcement responsibilities to the Horry County Police Department?’

Considering SLED has several ongoing criminal investigations into the HCPD, especially the detective division, as well as several lawsuits already filed against HCPD with more expected to come, the obvious conclusion is a resounding NO!

Much to my surprise Sheriff Phillip Thompson said several days ago that he believed it is time to put the question of whether to recombine the HCPD with the Horry County Sheriff’s Department to the citizens of Horry County.

Thompson said he has received hundreds of calls from county residents over the last several weeks saying it was time for the sheriff’s department to run law enforcement activities within the county.

There are pros and cons to having the departments combined.

At this time, I believe the pros of having the sheriff take over the HCPD far outweigh the cons.

The sheriff is an elected official, directly answerable to the public. With HCPD under Horry County Council, through the administrator, there are too many levels of bureaucracy.

With the current situation, of a citizen has a problem with HCPD he or she inevitably calls his council member, who calls the administrator, who calls the police chief, who calls the captain of the area the complaint is about, who calls the officers involved.

With all those levels of bureaucracy to pass through, the problem often isn’t addressed and may never be solved.