Gang related activity causes Horry County Police to act - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Gang related activity causes Horry County Police to act

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - When most people think of gangs they picture Bloods or Crips in Los Angeles or New York City, but gangs come in all various sizes and ranks and even some are showing up in Horry County, according to police.

It's that recent gang presence which has Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes looking to hire a Gang Intelligence Officer to add to the force.

The full-time officer will be working with the Street Crimes Unit, which Chief Rhodes fundamentally formed, along with five other officers and a corporal.

The new officer will be aiding the others on gang related activity happening the region.

Sergeant Robert Kegler says the new gang investigator is needed. "We have officers who have some experience with gang activity through schooling and training. Somebody who has a vast knowledge like I said is to help us tackle the rising gang activity we are seeing before it gets out of control is what we are looking for."

Currently there are no actual hard numbers, according to Kegler, to help determine the increase of gangs throughout the years, but he says gangs are showing their presence through graffiti or tagging.

The group will also be targeting the Horry County School system for gang related activity. "Obviously there are signs of it in schools within Horry County that is also something we are going to be looking at getting a hold of here," states Kegler.

Kegler advises those in the community to report graffiti or tagging they see to police so officers can determine if those signs and symbols are indeed gang related.

Karl Moser who lives in Conway doesn't think the police department needs to hire and gang specialist, "I'm really surprised I haven't heard of many gangs in the area or any kind of gang activity."

For others like Rob Spino, I says he knows gang activity exists, " I don't know how large of a scale it is in the area I imagine if they're considering it, it must be a problem... I trust their judgement."

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