Here’s how Myrtle Beach police plan to keep you safe this holiday weekend and summer

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Visitors from across the country are making their way to the Grand Strand for Memorial Day Weekend.

They’re not the only comes coming to the coast. Around 300 additional officers are coming to help the Myrtle Beach Police Department keep the community safe.

“It’s important to have additional officers so that we can actually have that support during special events,” Chief Amy Prock said in the weeks leading up to the big weekend. “And we make sure that all the grounds are covered.”

MBPD is using a tiered approach to make sure that downtown is covered.

That means assigning officers to three to four block areas along Ocean Boulevard.

“They know that this is my area and that they’re there to take care of that particular spot and make sure it functions properly,” Lieutenant Mike Quinn said, a watch commander with MBPD.

MBPD is not doing a traffic loop this year, but there is a traffic plan that went in place Friday morning for the weekend. Here’s what to know from MBPD:

  • Pedestrian barricades will be placed along Ocean Blvd to keep pedestrians safe on the sidewalk.
  • Beginning Friday, May 28th, at 6 am, all traffic on Ocean Boulevard is one way, southbound, from 29th Ave S to 29th Ave N. This traffic plan will conclude on Monday, May 31th at 6 am.
  • Motorists will access Ocean Blvd only from an access avenue that has a stoplight at Kings Highway. The access avenues are 21st Ave N, Mr. Joe White, 9th Ave N, 3rd Ave S, 9th Ave S, 13th Ave S, 19th Ave S, 25th Ave S, and 29th Ave S.
  • Emergency Access lanes are blocked for emergency vehicles only at 16th Ave N, 8th Ave N, 6th Ave S and 17th Ave S.
  • An extended traffic pattern will be implemented from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, ONLY if traffic conditions warrant the use of the pattern. Motorists will be permitted to access Ocean Blvd at 29th Ave N and will not be allowed to get off the Blvd.
    • To avoid being in this extended traffic pattern, there are three intersections to remember:
      • 29th ave N and Bypass 17—If you do not wish to travel in the pattern, do not turn east on 29th Ave N.
      • 29th Ave N and Kings Hwy— If you do not wish to travel in the pattern, do not turn east on 29th Ave N.
      • Harrelson and Kings Hwy—All traffic will be diverted west on Kings and motorist will be in this extended pattern. If you do not wish to travel in the pattern, do not travel to Harrelson Blvd and Kings Hwy.
  • If you are staying along Ocean Blvd, it is recommended that you park on the west side of the Blvd, especially between the hours of 10 pm- 2 am.

If you need more help with traffic patterns, you can call (843) 918-INFO (4636) or use this map.

The holiday weekend is also the unofficial kickoff to summer. It’s likely to be a busy one in Myrtle Beach.

“It’s going to be crowded from top to bottom,” Lt. Quinn said. “So a full presence from top of the strip to the end of the strip is really, really important. And that will be my job to make sure that we’re out there and visible.”

Lt. Quinn said that visibility can put visitors at ease and deter criminals.

“Anyone who thinks that they may want to break the law or things like that, they’re going to see us and know that we’re not too far away to help enforce the law,” he said.

The department is working to recruit more officers. Lt. Quinn said MBPD has numbers ‘that are good,’ but the department would ‘like them to be better.’ He said they’re ready to handle the summer, and have the staffing to do it. Officers will work some overtime, and other agencies will also be around to help.

“To go back to the Ocean Boulevard part, we partner with other agencies,” he said. “We’ll have Highway Patrol. We’ll have SLED and those will come in to help us. Just on the Boulevard alone upwards of 70 to 80 work in that area.”

Officers keep a close eye on intel that can help them catch suspects and gangs. They also watch lodging data to see how many people are in town, and where.

“Utilize all resources,” Chief Prock said. “We want to have all the information possible to be able to provide a safe and happy and productive summer.”

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