Officials hope North Myrtle Beach jail upgrades will ‘prevent another escape’

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Officials with North Myrtle Beach Public Safety say the city’s jail needs thousands of dollars in upgrades.

It’s the same jail where an inmate escaped back in July 2016. 

“We’re very confident in the plan we’ve put in place that will prevent that in the future,” said North Myrtle Beach Police, Lt. Sean Downey.

The man who escaped, Atticus Barber, got out while the department was installing different security upgrades last summer.

“It prompted us to kind of move a little quicker than maybe we were at the time,” added Lt. Downey.

With the newest upgrades, the department will get new cameras and put more cameras in the jail’s “blindspots” and will also replace several locks and doors that have been there since the 1980’s. The goal is to make sure no two doors can be open at the same time.

“We had to kind of drop back and figure out how can we control this jail,” said Lt. Downey.

There will also be thousands of dollars in upgrades to the jail’s control panel which can open and close the locks from a central location.

“The newer system obviously will be supported with the newest technology,” said Lt. Downey.

Lt. Downey also said since Barber escaped during the last upgrades, they will do things differently this time.

“We’ll most likely have to shut the jail down for a period of time, maybe a week,” said Lt. Downey. “While the company comes in and changes out the locks.”

The City of North Myrtle Beach has already approved these projects in the budget. The work is set to begin in July.