MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Police Department is using a new tool to fight crime: golf carts.
Two months ago, the MPBD bought five golf carts at $8,000 a piece with grant money. The carts are aimed to bring a stronger police presence into the city, especially congested areas like Ocean Boulevard.
"One of the main things we're trying to do along the boulevard is have officer visibility. We want the public to see the officers,we want the people to feel safe down there," Myrtle Beach Police Captain David Knipes said.
The carts act the same as a typical police cruiser. Officers on the carts can pull cars over, and respond to any call for assistance. But, Captain Knipes explained, the carts are also used to maneuver places the cars or officers on foot don't typically go.
"It's a good way for the officers to get around by having these vehicles instead of walking the beat, where they might not be seen as often or as much, so it certainly helps with the visibility," Captain Knipes said.
Captain Knipes said the golf carts are also meant to bring the community together with the police officers.
"The reason we like the golf carts is it makes the officers more approachable, especially where they're used along Ocean Boulevard and the tourist area where the officers are trying to do more community policing. It takes them out of that vehicle and makes them where they're more approachable to the public," Captain Knipes said.
The golf carts can reach speeds up to 20 miles per hour. The carts have an engine and run on gasoline.