Horry County Government uses sexual harassment incidents as scenarios in training

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – With nearly 2,200 employees consisting of office workers and first responders,  Horry County Government is the largest employer in Horry County.

On Tuesday, former Horry County police detective, Troy Allen Large appeared in court facing charges of sexual misconduct regarding alleged incidents that happened while he was an officer.

Horry County human resources legal specialist, Denise Hagemeier said it was 10 years ago when she helped to devise a special sexual harassment training course for Horry County employees. She said over the years, without naming names, she has used incidents in class as potential scenarios.

“Of course we protect people’s identities, but we are entitled to use people’s circumstances as examples,” Hagemeier said. “The commitment here is to have every employee have live training and to discuss examples that have gone on here.”

Employees are required to take the training right when they start work, and then every two years they take an updated course. Hagemeier said the employees are encouraged to report sexual harassment not only for themselves, but for co-workers as well.

“For example, an employee was witnessing his friend receiving lewd text messages from someone else who worked here and the person hadn’t worked here for very long so he didn’t feel comfortable coming forward,” Hagemeier said.

The training for first responders hones in on their responsibility of what is appropriate when interacting with the public, and the classes allow them to discuss how to approach the situation differently.

“We have investigators at the police department now who are very proactive and make it an issue to make sure there is an avenue and enough manpower down the road to investigate, in that regard,” Hagemeier said.