Fewer Horry County police officers planned for in budget proposal

Horry County proposes a decrease of 24 police patrol officers in the budget for the coming year, but department officials say its a duty change and no officer will lose their job.

The Horry County Council will meet later this week to discuss the county budget for fiscal year 2019, which starts in July. Those discussions will include the police budget.

The proposal calls for 107 patrol officers in FY 2019, a drop from 131 in the previous budget year. But, officials say that is the result of Horry County Police no longer providing officers inside schools. Horry County's School Board voted during the summer to use private security guards inside its 18 schools.

"We are not relieving anyone of their duties here at the agency," Horry County Police Spokeswoman Krystal Dotson wrote in an email. "The decrease in our patrol numbers is from the reassignment of our School Resource Officers."

Horry Council Chairman Mark Lazarus did not respond to The Sun News in time for this report, but he told WBMF that the budget proposal includes pay raises for all Horry County employees.