Horry County paid more than $13K to train former HCPD Chief before paying for her retirement

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Former Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes did not get the police chief’s job in Statesboro Georgia.

Officials there say the city will reopen its search, and that Rhodes can reapply.

News13 requested documents from Horry County to find out how much money was spent to train her while she was here.

READ THE REPORTS HERE

Expense reports show the county spent about $13,000 in the last four years for Rhodes to go on nine different trips for training before she left the department.

The money went towards training with the FBI, to learn how to budget within the department, flights, hotels, food, and training seminars around the United States.

Councilman Paul Prince says that’s money the county can’t get back.

“We’ve lost all that, and I’m disappointed in that. County council as a whole needs to be informed by the administrator on a day-to-day basis if it takes so that we can do a better job in voicing our opinions on things,” said Prince.

County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier says it’s training that’s needed so county leaders can better serve you.

“The training benefits the public. We have to make sure that we invest in our employees, that we get them the training that’s necessary to do the job,” said Bourcier.

Prince says he didn’t know anything about the training.

“I would have spoken up if I had known we were paying for all of this extra training and education and whatever you want to call it that wasn’t necessarily going to benefit us, especially when she’s going to retire and leave,” said Prince.

Bourcier says all employees in the county have to go through different types of training, and Rhodes was no different.

“It helps with efficiencies; it helps with all kinds of things within the county. So, it’s important, and some of it is required. So, we have to make sure that we’re staying on top of those accreditations, that they’re getting the training that they need, and it also again helps the county in general,” said Bourcier.

Prince says when it comes to taxpayer money, like the decision to pay more than $60,000 for Rhodes to retire early, he believes the county administrator should communicate with council.

“When it comes to situations dealing with a lot of money, he should certainly not make these decisions without letting the county council know what he’s doing and why he’s doing it so that we would know the purpose of it,” said Prince.

Rhodes originally told News13 she planned to retire and spend time with her family after she left the Horry County Police Department.

Since then, we know she’s applied to be chief in at least one other department.

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