New Horry County Council Member wants to increase police officer pay

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CAROLINA FOREST, S.C. (WBTW)- This Tuesday Dennis DiSabato became the first Carolina Forest resident to win a seat on Horry County Council.

DiSabato defeated Jimmy Washington to represent District 3 which includes downtown Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest. It’s the first time a Republican has made such an accomplishment in nearly 20 years.

DiSabato received nearly 60% of the votes and says it’s because he’s focused on the issues that people care about. Some of those being road work in Carolina Forest, development in the downtown areas of Myrtle Beach and creating better relationships with police officers and first responders.

“Infrastructure is going to be one of the main priorities and the second one is obviously going to be enhancing and supporting our police department throughout the county. We’re spending an awful lot of money every year training officers and then we’re not paying them enough quite frankly,” DiSabato said.

He won’t be sworn in until next Janaury but DiSabato says he’s eager to get to work with county council and make this a priority.

“What I would like to see us do instead, is try to catch up to the wage scale in other areas for police officers than cycle in new officers, keep our good officers here on the streets.”

It’s an issue that’s been discussed among current council members and the new police chief. County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus says pay is something they’ve worked on in the department for years. Last year, the county awarded 5% raise to all of our class-one officers.

“We’re going to need to get council on board and try to take a real close look at what we’re doing with regards to our pay scale with police officers in this county,” DiSabato said.

Horry County Council will hold a budget retreat next month to begin talks of the 2017 budget.