Horry County Police Department wants to add more environmental services officers

HORRY COUNTY SC (WBTW) — Horry County Police Chief Joseph Hill recently told the Public Safety Committee that the county needs more Environmental Services Officers.

These officers deal with a variety of issues in the community.

“If you don’t know what ESOs do, they do a bit of everything,” Hill said. “They do animal care, animal rescue, litter, proliferation.”

Hill said demand for these agents is on the rise and calls for environmental services have increased 10% in two years.

“We just don’t have enough resources right now to stop your phones from ringing and that’s the most important thing,” he said, addressing the public safety committee. “We want to meet the needs of the county and our community, but more importantly, we want to meet the needs of our administration by making sure we address these issues as they arise.”

Mikayla Moskov of Horry County Police said 10 officers would make up the department’s current future needs total. She said the 2023 budget calls for four environmental services officers.

Hill said officers are working with county partners to educate people on how to bring homes into compliance. Additional officers would better serve these communities.

“We had a community that we were called to recently and I would say all but two houses needed our attention,” he said.

Another issue these officers are involved in is preventing people from illegally littering. Hill said the spill at the Solid Waste Authority is “endemic” and they are working on actions to fix it.

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Jennifer R. Strohm