Business owners say police substation on Ocean Boulevard is needed, welcome idea of permanent structure

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Several of you asked if the City of Myrtle Beach’s plan to bring a substation to Ocean Boulevard will be in place of adding additional officers, and City Manager John Pedersen says no.

The temporary substation will go on the old pavilion site off Ocean Boulevard, and business owners in that area say it’s needed.

Buz Plyler, owner of the Gay Dolphin, has sold gift items on Ocean Boulevard for decades, and in that time, he’s seen things change.

“They used to have more officers here,” said Plyler.

He says when the pavilion was still there, officers would station four cars on 8th Avenue.

“Since that has gone away, it has been an opening for people who want to behave badly,” said Plyler.

Plyler says that’s why he’s glad the city is putting a substation in the area.

“The substation is going to do wonderful things. We need the police presence down here because it will be beneficial to our business, no doubt,” said Plyler.

The city will pay $1,485 for the first month to rent, deliver, and set up the trailer for the substation. Each month after, the city will pay $450 for rent.

City manager John Pedersen says they’re looking for places to put a more permanent structure.

Plyler says he’s talked with other business owners on Ocean Boulevard, and a permanent structure would be best close to the boulevard.

“I think that we’re land is cheaper on the third or fourth row would be a great place. It could be anywhere on Chester Street, perhaps. They can get in and out quickly without being involved in much traffic,” said Plyler.

“Crime prevention by environmental design is a thing, and basically it’s a thing that looks for the opportunities to deal with the psychology behind crime and to either remove temptations or to remind people that there’s a presence,” said Pedersen.

He says while he thinks the new station is important, it’s not in place of additional police officers.

“I don’t think it’s more important than having police officers. We recognize the need for having more police officers and we’ve probably got five or six times more police officers on the weekends now than we did Easter, and that’s been something that we’re committed to,” said Pedersen.

City Spokesperson Mark Kruea says discussions have not been made public about where the city is looking to put a permanent structure or if the city has a budget for the project.