The following is a statement from Chris Eldridge, Horry County Administrator, concerning today’s indictments related to former Horry County police officers. The indictments were brought forth by the S.C. Attorney General’s Office.
“The allegations as detailed in the S.C. Attorney’s indictments, if found to be true, represent behavior grossly contrary to the standards and mission of Horry County government. What inspired SLED’s involvement in these cases was the discovery by County administration of improper conduct on the part of several officers, leading to a request by us that SLED conduct a thorough investigation, which investigation ultimately led to these indictments.
Significant changes have been made in the leadership of the Horry County Police Department, with a focus on the Criminal Investigations Division. Each of these indictments involve former employees of that Division. The Criminal Investigations Division has a new Captain, as well as a new Deputy Chief of Operations. Accountability measures have been extensively reviewed and improvements made.
The more than 250 men and women of the Horry County Police Department work tirelessly every day to Protect and Serve our community. The alleged actions of a few should not diminish the service they provide as they put their lives on the line to keep us safe.
Lastly, Horry County Police Department starts with new leadership at the top this Mondaywith the arrival of Chief Joe Hill. Chief Hill’s focus will be continuing the review of accountability measures for officers and strengthening relationships with the various communities of Horry County.
We appreciate the work of the SLED investigators and the care they took in these cases. We also thank the S.C. Attorney General’s office for their time and effort, and appreciate their careful consideration of the evidence. Given the fact that there are now criminal cases involving these former officers, it would be inappropriate to comment any further, as we do not want to impede the criminal process.”