Horry County leaders look at making government offices more secure

Horry County leaders look at making government offices more secure

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County leaders are looking at how to make the public and county staff safer in the Horry County Government and Justice Center in Conway.

People walking into the government side of the complex don't have to go through security like those going to the justice side do.

"We do have security. We just don't have it as in depth security as what we need and what we have in the justice center," Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson said.

Sheriff's deputies have confiscated weapons before from people heading into the courthouse.

"Some folks, not many, but we've had a few that have come through with a gun, knives," he said.

Sheriff Thompson said he wants to see security set up for the government side of the building too. The topic came up at the budget retreat nearly three weeks ago.

"We've had some folks that work in this facility, in this building that expressed concern," he said. "We're concerned."

He said conversations about this are ongoing.

The security could all be centralized in the atrium or another security area could be added to the government side.

"Funding is a big thing," Sheriff Thompson said. "You're going to have to have more equipment. You're going to have to have more people if you're going to do it right."

Individual office managers are also looking to make their spaces more secure. Sheriff Thompson hopes to put up security glass for his front desk staff.

"Our ladies that work up there brought it to my attention," he sad.

The Central Traffic Court supervisor would like the same for the office in the old courthouse.

"One line item that we've asked for in the amount of $10,000 for maintenance to come in and put the glass up to keep the public from being able to access the clerks," Robin Vaughn told the public safety committee Tuesday.

The clerk of court not only has her employees to keep safe, but also lots of files. Renee Elvis said she wants to rearrange the file room where people can request files and put up security glass.

"It's huge and it's this low. It's not covered," she told the committee. "Anybody could jump in. Our filing room is totally not secure, as I would like it to be."

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