Criminal Investigations

The Criminal Investigations Division, or C.I.D., is comprised of, Major Crimes, Narcotics & Vice, Crime Scene Unit, and Property & Evidence.


Criminal Investigations

C.I.D. is typically staffed by those women and men who have successfully tested for the position of Detective, and demonstrated a natural proficiency for investigating crimes while they were assigned to patrol duties.  Aside from conducting investigations, Detectives also perform a number of collateral duties such as participating on Special Operations Teams, conducting joint investigations with other law enforcement agencies, or assisting other departmental divisions.   All investigative personnel must be able to coordinate their activities and maintain a positive relationship with the victims they serve.

Major Crimes Unit

The Major Crimes Unit is responsible for investigation of all violent crimes against individuals. These investigations include homicide, sex related crimes, robberies (Robbery Checklist), and assaults. The Major Crimes Unit works closely with victim's advocates to insure the needs of each crime victim are met. Should you become the victim of a crime, there are certain actions you should take to help police resolve the issue (What if I am the victim of a crime?). The unit is centrally located in Conway, SC, and is comprised of a Lieutenant, Sergeant, and fourteen Detectives. Major Crimes can be contacted at 915-5350 or 915-8345.

Crime Scene Investigations Unit

The Crime Scene Investigations Unit is a branch of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Horry County Police Department. The Crime Scene Investigations Unit responds 24 hours a day to support Patrol and Detective personnel in the investigative, documentary and recovery process of evidence at crime scenes. The Crime Scene Unit assists in the investigation of homicides and violent crimes, in addition to any other investigation where their services may be helpful. Crime Scene Unit personnel receive specialized training in crime scene reconstruction, photography, latent fingerprints, DNA collection, chemical application, alternative light sources, evidence handling and processing. In addition, they are trained in the casting of tire and shoe impressions, impression analysis, blood pattern analysis, and trajectory analysis. The Crime Scene Unit uses a state-of-the-art AFIS (Automated fingerprint investigation system) to review, capture and identify fingerprints and partial prints lifted from crime scenes. This AFIS equipment has helped identify and solve countless investigations by comparing fingerprints to the state and federal fingerprint databases.  The Crime Scene Unit is the forensic services section of the Horry County Police Department. The mainstream field of forensics is fingerprinting, latent print lifting and latent print examination and analysis. Crime Scene Unit personnel are charged with the forensics portion of the investigation, from their arrival at the scene all the way through providing expert testimony at trial. The Crime Scene Investigations Unit is required to preserve, collect, process, testify and present evidence in court. All of these skills are applied to physical evidence to determine if the evidence matches the version of events provided by victims, witnesses, or suspects.

As a no-charge service to the public, citizens are fingerprinted each Wednesday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at Horry County Police Department 2560 N. Main Street, Conway. No appointment is necessary for this service however, to avoid delays please call ahead.

When and where are auctions held?
Horry County Police auctions are usually held once or twice yearly at the M.L. Brown for abandoned vehicles and property. Horry County Fleet Maintenance holds separate auctions at their facility for surplus county vehicles. In both instances, signs are posted in front of the facilities and advertisements are placed in the local newspaper.
Can I come today to be fingerprinted, and what is the cost?
Generally, fingerprinting is done on Wednesdays from 8 am to 12 noon. There is no cost for this service but you must provide your own fingerprint cards. If you are unable to come on the scheduled day, you may call and make an appointment for a different day or time.
I lost my wallet at the beach, do you have it?
HCPD has jurisdiction in the unincorporated areas of Myrtle Beach and Horry County. You should also check with Myrtle Beach Police Department, Surfside Beach Police or State Park Rangers if the loss occurred in any of those areas.
I heard that you recovered some property; can I come and see if any of it belongs to me?
Property recovered must be identified in the presence of the assigned Officer or Detective, he or she will then contact the Property and Evidence Section.
Where is my car?
Stolen and recovered vehicles are towed to the counties authorized tow lot. HCPD Dispatch will notify you if your stolen vehicle is recovered. All other vehicle tows are done on a rotational tow basis. To find out where your vehicle has been towed, the registered owner can contact Horry County Communications at 843-248-1520 and ask to check the wrecker log.
My gun is in police custody and I would like to get it back.
Under federal law 18USC922, a felon, drug addict, alien, mental defective, possessing a restraining order, pending CDV or CDV conviction, fugitive from justice, dishonorable discharge from the military, cannot possess, sell or use a firearm.
My property is there, but a hold is on it. How do I get it back?
When a hold has been placed on property, it cannot be released until the owner contacts the holding officer.
My property was taken as evidence, can I get it back?
Property that is held as evidence must have a disposition from the general sessions or magistrate court before it is released. You must contact the solicitor assigned to the case, or the magistrate / judge. They will issue a release.
I left my car on the side of the road, and when I went back it was gone
Vehicles left on the side of the road may be towed as abandoned after 48 hours. Abandoned vehicles are towed by Squeaky’s Wrecker Service.
There is a charge on my criminal history that I do not understand.
Contact SLED at 803-737-900 and ask for the records section. SLED maintains records on NCIC.
I found a gun or another type weapon, what should I do?
If possible do not touch it, call and let the police respond and safely secure it and remove it.
My home was broken into, what should I do?
If you suspect that the offender may still be present, do not enter. Call 911 and advise the operator what has happened. Try not to touch anything; the police may be able to obtain fingerprints, footwear impressions, or other evidence that may help to solve your crime
My car has been broken into, what should I do?
Try not to touch anything; the police may be able to obtain fingerprints or other evidence that may help to solve your crime.
I need to come in and have fingerprints taken, what do I need to do?
The person or employer requesting the fingerprints needs to provide you with a fingerprint card. There is no fee for fingerprint services but you should call and schedule an appointment. We offer open fingerprinting hours on Wednesdays from 8am to noon; no appointment is necessary on these days.
If my home is broken into and the officer uses fingerprint powder, will it destroy anything?
Fingerprint powder can permanently stain many things; it is best to check with the officer prior to having them dust for prints.
Can you obtain fingerprints from all surfaces or items?
There are several different types of processes. Sometimes fingerprints can be obtained at the scene, other times the item may have to be taken to the police department for a more extensive chemical process. Not all surfaces are conducive to obtaining fingerprints. Greasy or dirty surfaces may be very difficult. Some surfaces due to their texture make it very difficult to obtain fingerprints. It is always best to check with an officer.
I saw this procedure on the hit TV show CSI, did you try it on my crime?
TV shows will often times make things look so simple or even make things up to entertain the viewer. Some of the procedures you see are in fact true, and some are not, however the time that is really involved in crime scene processing and testing of evidence is quite different from what they portray. If you have a question or concern please call us.

Victim's Advocate

The Victims’ and Witnesses’ Bill of Rights was passed into South Carolina law in 1984.  Our Victim’s Advocate Program ensures that the rights and entitlements provided for victims and witnesses in Horry County are honored by:

  • Ensuring that victims and witnesses are provided a copy of the police report and advised of their rights and the criminal justice process.
  • Providing assistance in applying for compensation benefits and other available financial, social services and counseling assistance.
  • Upon victim’s request, accompaniment to court proceedings and/or providing transportation if needed.
  • Upon victim’s request, make a reasonable attempt to inform victim of status and progression of case.

The Victim’s Advocate office is available to victims and witnesses of crime in Horry County Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm at every precinct or by telephone at 843-915-8348.

Sarah Kennedy - Victims Advocate Coordinator - 843-915-8115 - kennedy.sarah@horrycounty.org
Nelson Melendez (Central Precinct, bilingual - Spanish/English) - 843-915-8069 - melendez.nelson@horrycounty.org
Willa Johnson-Carter (South Precinct) - 843-915-7971 - carterw@horrycounty.org
Renae Searcy (West Precinct) - 843-915-8061 - searcyr@horrycounty.org 

Department of Crime Victim Compensation (formerly known as SOVA)

What can a victim advocate do for me?
A victim advocate is here to assist you with understanding the judicial process of your case by acting as a liaison, as needed, between you, the officers, detectives, creditor’s and any other representatives from other agencies. The victim advocate will advise you of your rights, as well as, inform you of resources that are available to you. She may also provide you with limited counseling, and can refer you for long-term services when appropriate.
What are compensation benefits and how do I get them?
Compensation benefits can include medical care, lost wages/support, mental health counseling, funeral/burial (up to $4000.00), and reimbursement for crime related prescription and medical expenses already paid by the victim prior to claim approval. This service is provided through the State Governor's Office Department of Crime Victim Compensation, formerly know as SOVA, www.sova.sc.gov/apps.html). You can apply here at the Victim’s Advocate Office.
Who can qualify for financial assistance and what are the eligibility requirements for compensation benefits?
If you are a crime victim, an immediate family member of a crime victim, or someone who is paying bills or taking care of a crime victim, you may apply. To be eligible, the crime must have occurred in this state and reported to law enforcement within 48 hours of occurrence, that you were not doing anything illegal at the time of the crime, that you submitted the application within 180 days from the crime date, and when all other insurance and payment sources have been exhausted.
As a victim, do I have the right to attend the bond hearing?
Yes. Upon the defendant(s) arrest, a victim’s advocate will make a reasonable attempt to contact you to advise when the bond hearing is scheduled, providing that you checked ‘yes’ on your victim’s rights form that the law enforcement officer had you sign. You have the right to attend, as well as, make recommendations during any pretrial hearing. At the hearing, you will be given the opportunity to discuss any concerns pertaining to the incident and/or defendant(s) bond. For example, if you were afraid for your safety you would want to present this to the judge to take into consideration.
As a victim of Domestic Violence, can I drop the charges against the defendant?
When a police officer arrives on scene for a domestic violence call, he/she is mandated by the Laws of South Carolina to document the incident appropriately. If probable cause exists, the officer will formally charge the suspect while on scene. However, if there is not enough substantial evidence at this time to support the charge, then the officer must present the facts of the case to a county magistrate to determine whether or not probable cause exists for an arrest. Once the suspect is arrested, there will be a bond hearing to determine the conditions of his/her release that the defendant must adhere to until the trial date. There will be a period of time between the bond hearing and the trial. You, the victim, will have the opportunity to voice your concerns to the judge at the trial.

Street Crimes

The Horry County Police Departments Street Crimes Unit is a proactive patrol unit comprised of patrol officers, K9 Units. The Street Crimes Unit works problem areas all over the county and answers complaints to locations of high criminal activity based on tips and statistical data. This Unit works closely with local agencies as well as State and Federal Agencies. Their duties include enforcing the laws of the State of South Carolina, recovering stolen property, apprehending wanted persons, identifying Gang Members, and drug interdiction.

Regional Drug Analysis Lab

With grant aid from the Drug Control and System Improvement Program of the SC Department of Public Safety’s Office of Justice, the Horry County Police Department Regional Drug Analysis Laboratory opened in August 2003 to serve the law enforcement agencies and solicitors’ offices of the 15th Judicial Circuit.  The Laboratory utilizes state-of-the-art instrumentation.  A GC-MS (Gas Chromatograph with a Mass Selective detector) System provides confirmatory results for most every liquid, solid, tablet, capsule, and plant matter submitted for analysis.  A UV-VIS Spectrophotometer utilizes ultraviolet and visible light to presumptively test unknown liquid submissions.  An FT-IR (Fourier Transform- Infrared spectroscopy) System presumptively identifies unknown liquids and solids, as well as confirms the difference between the presence of cocaine base (often referred to as crack cocaine) and cocaine salt (cocaine powder).  The Drug Analysis Laboratory is operated by one Forensic Chemist, who tests seized substances according to analytical procedures accepted by and currently in practice at S.L.E.D.  The Forensic Chemist also serves as an Expert Witness for drug cases analyzed in the Laboratory that go to trial.

Environmental Services

Environmental Services is comprised of 9 officers with 1 supervisor. Environmental Services Officers handle the enforcement of laws relating to animals and litter (including accumulation of garbage, junk cars, illegal dumping...).

Environmental Services Officers are on duty Monday through Friday from 8:00am until 4:30pm and are on call for emergencies after these hours.

You may request an Environmental Services Officer by calling your precinct or 843-248-1520 for non-emergencies.

Property Crimes

The Property Crimes Section is responsible for investigation of all property related crimes to include Burglary, B & E Auto and Larceny. There are two Property Crimes Detectives assigned to each precinct. Please contact the precinct you reside in to reach the property crimes detectives.

Tips

Crime Tips

Please email the Criminal Investigations Division at crimetips@horrycounty.org or call 843-915-TIPS (8477)

Drug and Vice Tips

Please email Special Operations at drugtips@horrycounty.org or call 843-915-8346

Warrants Tips

To send us tips on individuals with outstanding warrants, please email Warrants at mostwanted@horrycounty.org or call 843-915-5688

Non-emergency Line: 843-248-1520
Emergency Line: 9-1-1

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