Myrtle Beach officials give update on Real Time Crime Unit

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Myrtle Beach police are investigating two purse snatchings involving elderly women that happened in store parking lots this weekend within minutes of one another.

The police department has proposed creating a new team that would help prevent those sorts of crimes, as they happen.

Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes says council is likely to approve funding to help the police department prevent incidents like the two purse snatchings this past weekend.

“This is the next step in doing a better job at policing,” said Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes.

Mayor Rhodes says he fully supports the Myrtle Beach Police Department hiring two new officers to oversee the city’s almost 800 security cameras and try to help stop crimes as they happen in real time.

“We want to look at how to address these issues once they pop up. Once they pop up you can get to it and hopefully stomp it out quickly and keep it from escalating into a serious crime,” Mayor Rhodes said.

Myrtle Beach Police Chief Warren Gall proposed the Real Time Crime Unit to city council in March and the department has been waiting for the city to approve funding for the program. Mayor Rhodes says he’s certain council will give approval sometime this month.

“The salaries should be approved by city council. City council is fighting crime … they’re really putting pressure on crime being stopped,” said Mayor Rhodes

As part of the new program, Myrtle Beach Police would work with businesses to help keep shoppers safe.

“It gives us an additional set of eyes. If we get a call for service where there’s a burglar or alarm information to the officer as they’re responding to that call,” said Lt. Joey Crosby with Myrtle Beach police.

Mayor Rhodes says giving the police department those additional resources is a priority, especially now that their busiest season is just around the corner.

“If we have to cut somewhere else in the budget to make sure it works, then we’ll do that,” said Mayor Rhodes.

Mayor Rhodes says he expects city council to discuss funding for the Real Time Crime Unit at Tuesday’s city council meeting.