HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County Police Department is looking at unique ways to attract new recruits, with the hopes of filling all of the department's vacancies by the end of the year.
Chief Joseph Hill told the Horry County Public Safety Committee Tuesday the department has 16 patrol vacancies right now. He said 150 people have applied to the latest announcement of openings.
Hill is hoping to keep applications coming in the rest of the year by reaching new pairs of eyes with recruitment efforts.
The chief is talking with advertising agencies about putting up both printed and digital billboards that display messages about the Horry County Police Department to both attract recruits and also help rebrand the police department to improve public perception.
Those billboards would go up along highways 501, 17 and 9, as well as Interstate 95. Hill wants them up by the end of next month.
He said he's also putting advertisements for positions in police magazines, and the department recently put a recruiting logo on a car to continue to get the message out to the public.
Hill said about 10 people should be going into the next police academy.
"It takes a while to get officers trained and sent through the academy, but along with that, we've got certified officers from other agencies throughout South Carolina coming in, interested in Horry County and I think it's because of some of the things that we're doing now," he said.
The department received an additional nine patrol officers in this upcoming fiscal year's budget, but even with those openings, Hill said he wants to have the department fully staffed by the end of 2017.