COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina’s corrections officials are enlisting State Guardsmen to help them combat cellphones in the state’s prisons.

Gov. Henry McMaster on Tuesday signed an executive order allowing South Carolina State Guardsmen to help patrol the perimeters of the state’s prisons, watching for people trying to smuggle in contraband including cellphones. The program is starting at a maximum-security prison in Columbia, with the goal of expanding to other facilities.

Corrections Director Bryan Stirling says cellphones, used by inmates to plan crimes and acts of violence, represent the biggest security threat behind bars. Last month, he announced a partnership with Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, paying Lott’s deputies to patrol woods near the Columbia prison, arresting people for trying to smuggle in contraband, including phones.Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.