Horry County detention center at 80% capacity due to police making more arrests

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The Horry County detention center is about 80% full. Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson, who is in charge of the detention center, says they’ve seen an increase in inmates at the jail.

Right now, J Ruben Long Detention Center has about 800 inmates up from about 650 late last year. Chief Joseph Hill with the Horry County Police Department says that’s because their officers are making more arrests.

“From breaking into cars all the way up to home invasion robbery. We had a home invasion robbery over the weekend. We had three suspects, immediately identified two and made apprehensions. Now, we’re looking for the third one, and we will find them,” said Hill.

Hill says there’s no particular crime causing the increase, but he says a majority of the arrests are thanks to strengthened relationships with the community.

“We had a relationship before, we’re strengthening that relationship now, and by them picking up the phone and calling us when they see something that may be minor in their minds is leading into bigger cases for our officers,” said Hill.

Public Safety Chair Al Allen says the increase in crime comes with the growth of the community and the transient nature of the county but that they’re working to put well-trained officers on the street to protect you.

“We want you to play, we want you to have a good time, but you’re going to obey the laws and if you don’t while you’re in our house, we’re going to put you in jail,” said Allen.

Allen and Hill also contributed the increase in arrests to better morale and support inside the department.