MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach businesses met with city staff, police, and fire officials to talk about any challenges or successes of the summer 2021 season and to find what can be improved on for 2022.
“This summer was extremely busy for us,” Myrtle Beach Fire Chief Tom Gwyer said. “Actually, the whole year has been extremely busy for us.”
One by one, city officials shared updates with their departments, but all agreed this summer was the busiest they’ve ever seen.
“Just like police services, you see city vehicles around, sanitation, gold caps, ocean rescue,” said Capt. John Bertang, a special operation captain with the Myrtle Beach Police Department. “It takes all of these layers and departments…to make the city function as well as it does.”
The Myrtle Beach Police Department said an area that sees a lot of tourists is Ocean Boulevard, so the nighttime watch team took an extra look at what’s happening there.
“What we did was we took a study of when our highest volume of calls are occurring and we took a snapshot of the number of officers that we have and put the bulk of them on duty when the bulk of the calls are happening,” said Lt. Paul Morrell, nighttime watch commander with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
Morrell said the area from 21st Avenue North to 6th Avenue South experiences the most calls for service.
“There’s a lot of resources in place that you don’t see,” he said. “They’re kind of our contingency plans where we have undercover teams stationed throughout the high-impact areas.”
The homelessness issue was also brought up by multiple departments.
“We have very critical issues in our community related to the opioid epidemic, homelessness, that we’re working as a community on,” Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock said.
The representative with the Gold Cap Ambassadors said they’ve seen an increase in homeless people on Ocean Boulevard and are working with New Directions and the police department to get people help.