MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Myrtle Beach Police Department has added several new security measures for this year’s Carolina Country Music Fest to keep everyone safe.
One of the biggest changes is the new texting feature attendees can use to contact the police. The department says this will help the public communicate suspicious activities or other tips to officers.
Those attending the festival can text MBPDSC to 21000 to use the feature.
“We always talk about, if you see something say something and public safety is a shared responsibility, and it’s very difficult as you can imagine with the loud music to kind of communicate with us,” Captain Joey Crosby with MBPD said.
Police also put up additional barriers along the edges of the arena for extra protection.
“What this allows us to do is to prevent vehicles from driving through the event site like we’ve seen happen in other events across the country,” Crobsy said.
This is the first year Myrtle Beach police have their own explosives detection K9, Goggles, who sweeps for bombs at random times alongside few other state K9s.
In previous years, the department has had to borrow other agencies’ dogs trained in explosives detection before a big event like CCMF.
“Goggles has been a great asset. Our state partners with Horry County PD have been a huge asset to us in previous years and assisting us with this year, but having our own dog has allowed us to do a little bit more in a timely manner,” Crosby said.
Officers are also keeping a closer eye on the weather, with rain and strong winds in the forecast.
“For five years we’ve had a weather contingency plan, but this is the first year that we’ve actually had to pay so much attention to that,” Crosby said.
Police are using the NCAA plan which says if lightning strikes within eight miles of the event, they’ll evacuate attendees to a safe place and wait half an hour before bringing everyone back to the site.
Last year was the first time Myrtle Beach police had their own Mobile Command Center, which they say helped in communicating important information to officers in the field and helped Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue to quickly give medical attention to attendees that needed it.
They are using the Mobile Command Center again this year.