Crime

Horry County Police hiring internal affairs inspector

The Horry County Police Department is hiring an inspector to investigate allegations of unlawful, immoral, or improper actions of officers within the agency.

The position is not new, but has been vacant since January when that officer was transferred to another department, said Lisa Bourcier, Horry County spokeswoman.

The professional standards and accreditation inspector will investigate complaints filed by citizens as well as fellow officers, according to the advertisement for the position posted May 10.

The job announcement comes on the heels of the departures of two top officials in the agency. Former Police Chief Saundra Rhodes stepped down May 6 to take early retirement, and Deputy Chief Scott Rutherford announced last week he intended to retire effective next month.

Rutherford served 25 years in the agency and qualifies to receive retirement benefits. Rhodes was 19 months short, but the county paid more than $60,000 into her account so she would qualify to collect the benefits early.

County officials have declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding both retirements.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is investigating possible wrongdoing within the agency, which also faces two lawsuits against unnamed detectives, one of whom has been accused of sexually assaulting a rape victim.

If SLED discovers any wrongdoing, those findings would be forwarded to County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson, who has already pledged to forward any report straight to the attorney general.

The police department’s inspector will report directly to the police chief as well as the county administrator. The position requires ten years of law enforcement experience with three years of investigative experience.

Audrey Hudson: 843-444-1765, @AudreyHudson

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