Myrtle Beach police evaluate summer plan for decreasing violence

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – After several weeks of added law enforcement officers along Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach police are taking a look at their long-term goals to eliminate violence.

Labor Day weekend was the last weekend police expected large crowds in Myrtle Beach, marking the end of added security on the main tourist attraction – Ocean Boulevard. A shooting in mid-June along Ocean Boulevard was streamed on Facebook Live, bringing national attention to a violent 48 hours in Myrtle Beach.

Governor Henry McMaster sent state resources to back up police, sending one clear message about the violence.

“We’re just not going to tolerate it,” the governor announced following the June violence.

All along Ocean Boulevard, barricades lined the sidewalks and each weekend hundreds of police officers from around the state patrolled the streets.

“We’re very pleased with the operational plan,” says Captain Joey Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

Saturday will begin the first weekend without the additional resources but Capt. Crosby says the message remains.

“Anyone and everyone is welcome to come enjoy our city,” says Capt. Crosby. “However, please know that if you do commit a crime, you’re going to be held accountable for that action, and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Capt. Crosby says the department will implement long term plans, using its crime analyst to track crime patterns, putting together teams inside the department to address problem areas around the city, and calling neighboring agencies on weekends they expect large crowds.

“That’s part of the long-range plan in determining what kind of resources do we need. Is it the manpower? Is it the barricades? Is it additional message boards and signs to educate the public?” proposes Capt. Crosby. “So, it’s a long-term plan that we’ll continue to evaluate what resources we need and how do we allocate those resources so we’re successful.”

City leaders are already working on plans to bring permanent barricades to Myrtle Beach and will still ask officers to work overtime shifts.

Capt. Crosby says the city does not yet have numbers related to the costs of the additional law enforcement officers used over the summer, but the department will release them in its after action review meeting next week.