Horry County Schools will hire armed security for all elementary schools

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The Horry County School Board voted on Monday night to hire armed security guards for all elementary schools in the county. (Photo: WBTW)

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The Horry County School Board voted on Monday night to hire armed security guards for all elementary schools in the county.

Currently, only middle and high schools have either School Resource Officers or armed security guards, but Chairman Joe DeFeo said he’s wanted them in elementary schools for a while.

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“The safety of the children is pretty paramount to us and to parents,” he said.

This year, the school board decided to use a private security firm, U.S. Security Associates (USSA), instead of Horry County Police Officers in many of the schools.

DeFeo said Monday’s vote will allow USSA to start recruiting and training guards as soon as possible.



The goal is to get an armed security guard in all 27 elementary schools as well as the district office which would cost about $830,000 once they’re all hired.

“The issue is, things that have happened recently across the county,” DeFeo said about mass shootings. “So we feel we should provide an armed security guard at every single school.”

DeFeo hopes to have between seven and 14 security guards hired by January or February and the rest hired by the start of the 2018-2019 school year.