COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The State Law Enforcement Division is asking lawmakers for money to hire 65 more agents.
The State newspaper reported that if lawmakers go along with the request, it would give the state police agency slightly more than the 380 agents it had before the Great Recession.
SLED director Mark Keel made his request for a $15 million increase to a House subcommittee Wednesday.
SLED also wants permission to spend $3.5 million for a new helicopter.
Keel says about 30 of the new agents would work in alcohol enforcement, making sure businesses have the proper licenses and close on time and check for underage drinking. Only about a dozen agents now work in alcohol enforcement, monitoring about 16,000 businesses.
It also wants eight more forensic scientists.