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Frequently Asked Questions

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Here you will find Frequently Asked Questions in several different Categories.

General

Question: I took my vehicle to a mechanic to have it repaired and when I picked it up it was not repaired and I had already paid the mechanic for the repair. What can I do?
Answer: Contact your local magistrates office. This is a civil case and does not require police involvement.

Question: Who do I contact about four wheelers riding on county and state maintained roads?
Answer: Contact the Horry County Communications Center at 248-1300 and request that an officer patrol the area.  You may also contact the South Carolina Highway Patrol at 843-365-5001.

Question: Who do I contact about hunters trespassing on my land or hunting too close to my house?
Answer: You may contact the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (Game Wardens) at 843-546-8523. You may also contact the Horry County Police at 843-248-1300.

Question: What can I do about someone calling and harassing me on the telephone?
Answer: Contact the Horry County Police Department at 843-248-1300 and request an officer to complete an incident report. Then contact your local magistrate.

Question: Whom can I contact to find out if a warrant I signed has been served?
Answer: Call the Horry County Police Department Warrant Division at 843-915-8347.

Question: Who can I contact about animal abuse?
Answer: Call the Horry County Police Department Environmental Services Division at 843-915-6983 or 843-248-1300.  

Question: Whom can I contact to find out if a Detective is investigating my burglary?
Answer: Contact Horry County Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division at 843-915-8345 or 843-915-5350.
 

Question: I have a family member who is having mental, drug, or alcohol related problems and needs some help but refuses to go get help. Where can I get assistance?
Answer:  You can contact Waccamaw Mental Health at 843-347-4888.

Question: How can I obtain a restraining order for a person that is causing a problem by coming to my residence after I have asked them not to?
Answer: Contact the county police at 843-248-1300 and request an officer to complete an incident report.  Then present the report to a magistrate to find if you can obtain a restraining order.

Question: What can I do about a neighbor that plays music loud late at night?
Answer: Call the Horry County Police Department at 843-248-1300 for an officer to respond.

Question: My spouse and I have separated and she will not let me see m child.  What do I do? 
Answer:  Contact the Horry County Family Court at843-915-5080.

Question:  How do I get a restraining order? 
Answer:  Call the Horry County Police Department at 248-1300 for a police report and then see any Horry County magistrate.

Question:  My Child will not listen to me.  How can I get help? 
Answer:  The Department of Juvenile Justice can assist you with an incorrigible child.  They can be contacted at 843-248-1895.

Question:  The Horry County Police towed my vehicle.  How do I find out where it is? 
Answer:  Call the Horry County Communications Center at 843-248-1300.

Question:  Who do I contact about a neighborhood watch program? 
Answer:  Contact Sgt. Powell at the Horry County Police Department at 843-915-8021.
 

Question:  My neighbor is selling drugs.  Who can help me? 
Answer:  Contact the Horry County Police Department Narcotics Division at 843-915-8346.

Question:  How can I get a copy of my police report?
Answer:  A copy can be provided to you, in person, at the North Precinct Office located at the Ralph Ellis Building on Hwy 57 North in Little River, at the South Precinct office located at the South Strand Complex on Scipio Lane, and at the M.L. Brown Building on North Main Street in Conway.  You will need proper identification and the case number provided to you at the time you filed the report.

Question:  How can I get my fingerprinted for employment, travel, or other reasons?
Answer:  You can get fingerprinted at the M. L. Brown Public Safety Building on North Main Street in Conway on Wednesday’s from 8:00 am until Noon.  Please bring the required fingerprint card, unsigned, along with a valid driver's license, passport or birth certificate.

Question:  What do I do if I return home and discover that my house has been broken into?
Answer:  Do not go inside if you think someone may still in the house. Call law enforcement (Horry County Police 843-248-1300 or 911) from your cell phone or from a neighbor's phone. If you choose to go inside your house, you may destroy or contaminate any evidence left by the perpetrators. 

Question:  If my car is stolen, what do I do?
Answer:  Contact the Horry County Police (843-248-1300), or the police department where the crime occurred, immediately.

Question:  How do I pay a traffic ticket issued by an Horry County Police Officer?
Answer:  All traffic related tickets issued by the Horry County Police can be resolved at the Horry County Central Traffic Court, located at 1201 3rd Ave, Conway, SC or all (843)-915-5070.

Question:  How do I report a stray dog or cat on my property?
Answer:  Contact the Horry County Police, Environmental Services Division at (843)-248-1300.

Question:  How long do I have to wait before reporting someone missing?
Answer:  There is no time requirement to file a missing person report. You should report the incident as soon as possible.

Question:  How can I report a crime remain anonymous?
Answer:  You may call the Horry County Police Tips Line at 843-915-TIPS (8477).

Question:  Can I drive my golf cart around my neighborhood?
Answer:  Yes, with restrictions. You must first register your golf cart with the DMV, providing proof of liability insurance.  You may drive during daylight hours only.  The driver of the cart must possess a valid driver's license.  You can only drive on secondary streets or highways within two miles of your home.

Question:  Where do I get a Concealed Weapons Permit?
Answer:  An application must be made through The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Inquiries should be directed to the Regulatory Services Section, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division at 803-896-7014.

Question:  Can I legally have a gun in my vehicle?
Answer:  Yes.  It must be located in a closed compartment, glove box or in the trunk of the vehicle. For safety reasons, if a law enforcement officer stops you you should tell the officer that you have a gun in the vehicle.

Question:  How do I find out if a person is in jail?
Answer:  You may call the J. Reuben Long Detention Center at 843-915-5140, the Surfside Beach Police Department at 843-913-6368, the North Myrtle Beach Police at 843-280-5511 and Myrtle Beach Police at 843-918-1382.  Please keep in mind that once a person is arrested, it often requires one or two hours to arrest, process, transport, and book a prisoner, so allow enough time to lapse before calling.  You may also check the J. Reuben Long Detention Center online at horrycounty.org.
 

Question:  What should I do if a police officer pulls me over on the road?
Answer: Remain calm and safely pull over to the right side of the road.  Remain in your vehicle unless the officer advises otherwise.  Keep your hands on the steering wheel so the officer can see them.  Avoid any sudden movements - especially toward the floorboard, rear seat or passenger side of the vehicle.  Do not immediately reach for your license or other documents until the officer requests them.  If your documents are out of reach, tell the officer where they are before you reach for them.  If you have a weapon in the vehicle, promptly notify the officer of its location.  If the stop occurs during darkness, turn on your dome or interior lights so the officer can easily see the interior of your car.  If there are passengers in your vehicle, encourage them to remain quiet and cooperate with the officer's instructions.

Question:  When should I call 911?
Answer:  Only in emergency situations, remember if you call 911 to ask for directions or other non-emergency questions this is tying up an emergency line for someone who really needs it.

Question:  How can I assist the Horry County Police find my home in an emergency? 
Answer:  By properly displaying your house’s numerical address on the mailbox and on your residence will help the Horry County Police locate your house.

Question:  If I need to speak with the officer who wrote a report for me, how do I contact him?
Answer:  You can contact an officer by calling the Horry County Communications Center at (843) 248-1300 and a message will be given to the officer to return your call.

Question:  How do I become an Horry County Police Officer?
Answer:  When a position becomes available, the job is posted at the Horry County Human Resources office located in the Horry County Government Complex on 3rd Avenue in Conway, as well as online at horrycounty.org.
 

Question:  What is the COT Team?
Answer:  COT stands for Community Outreach Team.  Each Precinct has a COT Team that is assigned to work areas needing extra officers that may be experiencing an unusually high occurrence of criminal activity.  They also sponsor special activities and projects in their assigned communities that help build a stronger relationship between the police department and the citizens.

Question:  When do I have to stop for a school bus?
Answer:  South Carolina law requires motorists to stop for a stopped school bus in certain situations. You must always stop when you are traveling behind a bus with its flashing amber or red lights activated. When you are approaching a stopped school bus with flashing red lights from the opposite direction, you must stop if you are on a two-lane road.  If you are on a four-lane (or more) highway or four-lane (or more) private road and meet a stopped school bus, you do not have to stop. However, you should slow down and pass with caution.  After stopping for a stopped school bus, you must not proceed until the bus resumes motion or the flashing red lights have been turned off.


Question:  What is a State Constable?
Answer:  Constables are appointed by the Governor of South Carolina and are generally used to assist the police in any particular jurisdiction. They only have arrest authorities while they are accompanied by police officers in that jurisdiction. They can act with full police powers in instances of emergencies when police are not immediately available and when a threat of life is present. Any handguns they carry must be concealed unless they are in a state approved uniform.  Constables serve as volunteers.    More information can be found at:  http://www.sled.sc.gov/

Question:  Can a passenger in my vehicle have an open container of alcohol or beer?
Answer:  No.  You may transport alcoholic beverages in your vehicle if the seal has not been broken or the container has not been opened.  If the seal has been broken or the container opened, it must be transported in the trunk.

Question:  I went to pick up my child from school and my hunting rifle was still in my vehicle.  Is that ok?
Answer:  NO! SECTION 16-23-420, of the South Carolina Code of Laws states:  It is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm of any kind on any premises or property owned, operated, or controlled by a private or public school, college, university, technical college, other post secondary institution, or in any publicly-owned building, without the express permission of the authorities in charge of the premises or property.

Criminal Investigations Division

Question:  How does a case become assigned to a Detective?
Answer:  Case assignment to C.I.D. is based upon certain criteria and “solvability factors”.  Examples of these terms are as follows:

Case Criteria

· Nature of the crime
· Extent of injury to person(s)
· Amount of monetary loss due to theft
· Jurisdiction of the court where case will be heard

 

Solvability Factors

· Offender can be identified
· Offender can be, or is likely to be, located
· Identifying characteristics or numbers of stolen property are available
· The presence of physical evidence
· Cooperativeness of victims and/or witnesses

When criteria reach a pre-established level to warrant assignment to C.I.D., those cases are assigned accordingly.  If they do not meet said criteria, they are returned to the Patrol Division for follow up.  Regardless of which Division is assigned for follow up on an investigation, if solvability factors are not met, the case is placed in an “Inactive Status” until such time additional information can be obtained to proceed with an investigation.

Question:  What happens to my case after it is assigned?
Answer:  A detective will prioritize their caseload, which is dependent upon a number of factors.  If a case is successfully solved, the offender(s) will be arrested, a case file will be prepared and forwarded to the Solicitor’s Office for disposition of the case.

Question:  How do I find out the status of my case?
Answer:  A call to either the Patrol or CID Division should provide; which division has the case, the officer or detective it is assigned to, as well as the status of the case.  A message can be left with the assigned officer if further questions need to be addressed.

Question:  How do I contact the detective assigned to my case?
Answer:  Go to the Property Crimes Page or the Violent Crimes Page, you will find an email address and direct telephone number for each detective and their supervisors.  Investigative personnel are expected to return their email correspondences and telephone messages in a timely manner.

 

Crime Scene and Evidence

1- 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.


2- 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.


3- 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.


4- 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.


5- 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.


6- 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.


7- 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.


8- 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.


9- 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.


10- 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.

  
11- 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.


12- 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.


13- 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.


14- 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.


15- 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.


16- 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.


17- 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 Advocate Questions

“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 Victim’s Task Force called SOVA (State Office of Victim Assistance, www.govoepp.state.sc.us/sova/). 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.

   “Can I be reimbursed for stolen or damaged property?”

SOVA does not pay for property loss or damage, court related expenses (lawyer, travel, etc.), or ‘pain and suffering’.  However, there is another resource available called the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network (SCVAN, http://www.scvan.org/) that is provided through a federal Victims of Crime Act grant.  This fund is an emergency fund established to help crime victims when local resources and private insurance are unavailable.  Allowable costs can include, but not limited to, the following:  food ($25.00/day), clothing, lodging (see advocate for limits), repair/replacement of window, doors and/or locks, crime scene clean-up and transportation to a safe location..

 “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. 



 

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