Myrtle Beach sets public safety as top priority

MB Fall Retreat, Day 2

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - When it comes to funding and focus, the city is looking first at public safety.

Specifically, Myrtle Beach council members hope to continue to contribute nearly a million dollars to the police department’s seven-year plan that includes retaining and recruiting police officers.

“It certainly has an impact if we have deployable men and women we can put on the street, it would definitely have an impact on reducing crime,” said Councilman Philip Render.

On Wednesday, Myrtle Beach reported a 21 percent decrease in some of the most violent crimes since 2017.

Council members say public safety is needed to achieve its other goals of economic development and improved infrastructure.

Leaders said they will continue to look for ways to attract developers and investors by exploring different opportunities for change.

“What are the new things that we need here to support our community? What kind of housing do we need? How do we attract more young people to the area? So we are really looking.. when you talk about economic development it encompasses so many different things," said Mayor Brenda Bethune.

Exactly which things the city looks to focus on under development will be decided in the coming months. On October 23rd, the city will receive information from the company it hired to look at development downtown. Bethune said that information and recommendations will help the city make strategic decisions in the future.

As Myrtle Beach looks to its future, it’s also looking for ways to better work with other governmental partners.

“Everyone in Myrtle Beach is a resident of Horry County. We pay county taxes too and we want to be a part of them and we want them to understand that we are an important fabric of your community, just as you are to ours so what can we do to work more cohesively together," Bethune said.

Horry County Council members and state representative Alan Clemmons joined in today’s discussion.

Bethune says today was a chance to listen to each other and build relationships.

The first issue discussed was parking, but Render says the leaders will have to work on funding and public housing options.

“We’re a team in South Carolina and we’ll continue to work together," Render said.

The city’s fourth objective is improving communication and transparency.

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