HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County has hired a new assistant county administrator of public safety.
On May 22, Joseph Huffman will start overseeing police, EMS, fire, emergency management and 911 operations as assistant county administrator of public safety.
WMBF News reported in February that the position was posted even though Horry County Administrator Chris Eldridge had taken on those duties in 2015 as director of public safety in conjunction with a raise. Administrator Eldridge was the man who hired Huffman for this position, county officials said.
Huffman has worked in Mississippi as city manager since 2011. Before that, he was the manager for four cities in North Carolina, including Laurinburg.
153 people applied for the position. Finalists included John Conklin, a project manager and former county administrator from Pennsylvania, and James Webster, the current North Myrtle Beach Police Chief.
At Tuesday's public safety committee meeting, Chris Eldridge made the announcement, saying Huffman was the top choice candidate.
"We're all impressed so he's got a background in overall management," Eldridge said. "Of course in each of those cities he managed public safety as well. High energy. Excited."
Back in February when WMBF News reported the position was posted, Horry County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said the position wasn't eliminated from the budget when Eldridge took on the responsibilities himself. She said that was always a temporary decision and the position just hadn't been filled. She said the workload for that division continues to increase.
Huffman's salary will be $135,000.