In 2010, the population of unincorporated Horry County was approximately 189,000 residents. In 2018, the population of unincorporated Horry County is 244,952 residents.
The population growth in unincorporated Horry County, over the past 8 years, equals a 22.8% increase. Meanwhile, the Horry County police force remains at 106 “officers on patrol” to respond to dispatch.
Horry County should have a total of 441 “on call” police officers, according to FBI statistics for the average county of our same resident population. (That is if no increase in county-wide population growth occurs.)
PROBLEM – On average, only 9% of Carolina Forest residents vote in off year elections like the upcoming June 12th primary.
If past trends continue this June 12th, coastal communities including the Dunes Club, Pine Lakes, and NMB’s Surf Club will get out more people combined to vote than will Carolina Forest.
Last week, on the same night, two crimes were called to Horry County dispatch from Carolina Forest neighborhoods. One was a violent, priority one home invasion. Another, called in just one hour later was a priority one burglary. The second call was made at 10:33.57. An Horry County police officer arrived at the scene 28.33 minutes later.
According to sources inside HCPD, the average time for a county police officer to arrive at the scene of a crime, after a call is initially made to dispatch, is 20.32 minutes.
Why The Long Delay?
On average, the arrival from the time when a dispatcher reaches out to an officer is only 8 minutes. However, sources inside the department tell MyrtleBeachSC.com that a police officer is not notified by dispatch until a police officer is available to respond. The time from the original call to the dispatch office, then to a police officer, who arrives on average is 20.32 minutes.
HOW WE GOT HERE – Planning For Growth?
According to statistics from Census.gov the growth of Horry County over the past eight years is unprecedented.
According to current census bureau numbers, cities including Aynor, Loris, Surfside, North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Conway, and Little River have a combined population of 88,316 residents. Each of these cities are required to staff their own police force. The county’s issues lie in not having enough officers on call in the unincorporated areas.
In 2010, the population of the unincorporated areas of Horry County was approximately 189,000 residents. In 2018, the population of unincorporated Horry County is 244,952 residents.
The population growth in unincorporated Horry County over the past 8 years equals a 22.8% increase. Meanwhile, the Horry County police force remains at 106 patrol officers. While Horry County has 246 certified officers in the department, only 106 are available for police/patrol issues.
AVERAGES ACCORDING TO FBI SUMMARY OVERVIEW
According to FBI data, county agencies reported on average 2.7 officers per 1,000 residents. At a population of 244,952 residents, Horry County police should have a total police force of 662 county police officers. The county has 246 total officers. According to those same numbers, 1.8 officers per 1,000 should be officers on call. In 2018, Horry County should have a total of 441 on call to be consistent with the average county of our same resident population.
MEANWHILE EXPLOSIVE GROWTH CONTINUES
At a candidates’ forum held in Carolina Forest last week, Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus said the county has maintained a strong plan for managing growth.
Residents like Sharon Pollard say those statements are not true.
The Explosive Growth Continues
Meanwhile, the explosive growth continues. The Pollard family is concerned about 900 new homes being built on their two lane, Highway 905 neighborhood. Others have concerns about new developments being built around their Socastee, S.C. homes. With a county police force stretched to its limit, residents are concerned about home invasions and burglaries. The concerns are that there just aren’t enough patrolmen to handle the growth.
Candidates, however, respond to voters. The Dunes Club, Pine Lakes, and neighborhoods in North Myrtle Beach vote. These city neighborhoods have their own police forces, and have a different set of concerns in what they want from elected county officials. Chairman Lazarus already has the endorsements of every coastal city mayor.
As of 2018, Carolina Forest simply does not have a history of voting.