News and Announcements

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Horry County News and Announcements


Three Horry County Sheriff Deputies Receive Medal of Valor

Conway, South Carolina-Three Horry County deputies received the 2015 Medal of Valor Award at the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association’s Winter Conference banquet held in Columbia, South Carolina on January 14, 2015.  Lt. Scott Bower, Corrections Officer Donnell Hargrove, and Corrections Officer Jake Thompkins each received the award for saving the life of Amber Lloyd during the historic flood in October 2015.

The South Carolina Sheriff’s Association Medal of Valor award is given out each year to deputies around the state that perform actions above and beyond their normal duties. Each recipient is nominated by the Sheriff of their county.  The nominations are reviewed and selected by the Medal of Valor Committee, chaired by Sheriff Leon Lott. This year, twenty-three men and women from around the state received this prestigious award. This is the first time since Sheriff Phillip Thompson was elected in 2000 that a deputy from Horry County has received the award.     

On October 4, 2015, the three officers put the lives of strangers above their own when they worked together to rescue and revive drowning victim, Amber Lloyd on Harris Shortcut Road, in Conway.  Amber slipped in the swirling flood waters and was sucked into a drain pipe.  When the Officers located Amber, she was bluish purple with no sign of life. Officers immediately began administering CPR and continued CPR until she showed a slight sign of life with a movement of her lips and eye movement under her eye lids. Amber was then carried to the back of Lt. Bower’s personal pickup truck and was driven slowly to meet the ambulance and other rescue workers, which could not get directly to the scene due to other vehicles blocking the road. Amber was transported to Conway Hospital where she received treatment and she was released on Tuesday, October 7, 2015.   

All of the officers were “off-duty” at the time of this incident.  Lt. Bower was leaving work at J. Rueben Long Detention Center and Officers Hargrove and Thompkins were on their way to work at J. Rueben Detention Center.  Officers Hargrove and Thompkins reported for work after the incident and performed their duties as if it were just an ordinary day.  They did not boast of the rescue, but simply changed clothes and went to work.  

This display of heroism to help people in need and putting other people’s lives above their own, even when they are “off duty” shows the character of these men. 

Sheriff Thompson had the honor of presenting the medals to our deputies during the ceremony tonight.  The Horry County Sheriff's Office is extremely proud of each of them and honored to call them “Our Heroes”!  

They are pictured from left to right, Lt. Scott Bower, Officer Jake Thompkins, Officer Donnell Hargrove and Sheriff Phillip Thompson.

They are pictured from left to right, Lt. Scott Bower, Officer Jake Thompkins, Officer Donnell Hargrove and Sheriff Phillip Thompson






Horry County Sheriff's Office Announces New Chief Deputy

Conway, South Carolina-Sheriff Phillip Thompson is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Fox as his chief deputy. Chief Fox has been an employee of the Horry County Sheriff’s Office since 1999 where he served in the capacity of Director of the J. Reuben Long Detention Center. Chief Fox is second in command after Sheriff Thompson and will oversee general operations of the entire Sheriff’s Office, including J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Chief Fox has over 34 years of experience in law enforcement and jail operations.  He graduated magna cum laude from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Criminal Justice degree from the Command College of South Carolina at Anderson University.  He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Session 249 and a graduate of the South Carolina Executive Leadership Institute.  Chief Fox is a veteran of the United States Air Force serving from 1976 to 1980.  Fox was named the South Carolina Jail Administrator’s Association Jail Administrator of the Year in 2008.  He is married to Lynn Fox and they have one daughter, Kaitlyn. The Foxes are members of the Catholic Church of St. James, Conway, SC.

In addition to his duties as chief deputy, Chief Fox also serves as board president of the Horry County Sheriff’s Foundation, which provides college scholarships to individuals interested in law enforcement or a related field of study. Past affiliations include, past board member of the Waccamaw Youth Center; past president of the Fraternal Order of Police Coastal Carolina Lodge #12; and past grand knight of the Knights of Columbus #7531.

Chief Fox is a man of great character, and is an excellent example of our motto, “Committed to Excellence in Service and Attitude”.

Deputy Chief Tom Fox


Conway Man Arrested for Threatening To Kill Horry County Sheriff's Deputy

Conway, South Carolina-On Friday morning February 7th, the Horry County Sheriff’s Office arrested 50 year old Tommy Lee Watts of Conway for threatening the life of a public official. On January 27th, 2014, Mr. Watts called Horry County 911 and threatened to kill a Horry County Deputy Sheriff that was at his house attempting to serve a criminal arrest warrant. Mr. Watts was not at the residence at the time, his wife called him to make him aware that a deputy was at the house. Mr. Watts told 911 that he was en route to his home and he would kill the deputy if he laid a hand on his wife and didn’t leave his residence. Mr. Watts was released from the J. Reuben Long Detention Center on a $20,000 PR bond and ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device.

Probate Court Scam

Conway, South Carolina-The Horry County Sheriff’s Office has been contacted by Horry County Probate Judge Deirdre Edmonds about a possible scam/fraud relating to her office.  Judge Edmonds was notified by a resident of Horry County that an unknown person came to their door, said they were with the Horry County Probate Court, and inquired about a recent death that occurred in their family.   It is not known the intentions of this individual, but these types of suspects sometimes prey on individuals that may be vulnerable and in an emotional state to gain access to their home or to defraud them of money.  All employees of The Horry County Probate Court carry an ID card that identifies them as such.  If anyone has any questions or concerns, please call Sgt. Jeff Benton at 843-915-8578 or the Horry County Probate Court at 843-915-5370.            

From Probate Judge Deirdre Edmonds:   The Horry County Probate Court handles the administration of estates of deceased persons.  Typically, after a person dies the family of the deceased person will call or visit the Probate Court to inquire about the administration of their loved one’s estate.  The Probate Court does not solicit families of deceased persons and we never send Court employees or representatives to the homes of deceased persons inquiring about their death or property.   The only time a representative of the Probate Court visits a person’s home is when a guardianship or conservatorship action has been filed in the Probate Court for an incapacitated adult who is unable to manage his or her own personal or financial affairs.