There will be no further grand jury indictments of Horry County Police officials resulting from the S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigation of the agency, Horry County Police Chief Joe Hill said Tuesday.
The chief says he spoke with SLED officials his first day on the job Monday, and they confirmed their investigation of criminal sexual conduct and other misconduct within the department is closed.
“I was supposed to start on (September) 26th, but I got notified about the indictments and felt like I needed to be here for the troops,” Hill said.
“I can tell you that I met with the chief of SLED on Monday, that investigation has concluded. The four indictments that came down are the only indictments that are coming down — that investigation is wrapping up, it’s done,” Hill said.
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A grand jury indicted four former Horry County Police officials last week, including Allen Large, Todd Cox, Daryl Williams and Luke Green. Large is accused in several lawsuits against the county and police department of coercing women to participate in a sub-genre of pornography called catfighting.
Hill’s first two days on the job this week were spent dealing with the indictments as well as reviewing inter-agency policies and training.
Hill said he pinpointed several gaps in police service to the community, but at the same time added that new accountability measures in the major crimes division are “phenomenal” improvements.
“We’re putting some stuff into place now to shore up this agency and make it one of the premier agencies in South Carolina,” Hill said.
Hill said the heroin epidemic that has gripped Horry County will also be a major focus of his community outreach, and noted that the agency conducted a drug operation last month that netted 22 arrests.
The abundance of the drug and increasing number of overdoses in the county is attributable to a nationwide problem that will have to be addressed as well by federal law enforcement agencies, Hill said.
“President Obama just recently announced a task force to look into it. I’m hoping that’s going to trickle down to state and locals to give us some resources and also some support to lock up these dealers,” Hill said.
“But we knock out one dealer, we’ve got another standing by to take his place, so it’s an ongoing problem,” Hill said.
A 28-year veteran of the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia, Hill was hired to replace former Chief Saundra Rhodes who stepped down from the department in May.
The official swearing in ceremony for Hill is Sept. 30 at 10 a.m. in the council chambers at the Horry County Government and Justice Center.