Police control crowds during Memorial Day Weekend

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A major concern on Memorial Day Weekend is security. On every block and every corner, three to four officers from different agencies are patrolling back roads and main strips.

"We have crews working back roads and Ocean Boulevard," says one officer.

With the extreme volume of people, the busy boulevard is getting extra police presence this weekend.

"The activity has shifted further south," says Sgt. Jeff Benton. "People hear about Bike Fest and think Atlantic Beach. You can see we're not in Atlantic Beach, we're in downtown Myrtle Beach."

Deputy Sheriff John Wright says that summer and specifically the couple of weeks in May are when the bikers are down. While riding with Deputy Sheriff Wright, bikers slow down when they see him.

Part of it is crowd control - to keep things moving and keep things from escalating.

"When you get a large number of folks in one place, alcohol is involved, girlfriend/boyfriend issues involved, things tend to heat up," said Sgt. Benton. "We don't want shootings, violence or accidents. That's why you see so many officers on each corner to assist Myrtle Beach police. Just about all our deputies are working at full capacity."

Law enforcement agencies work in sectors so they can get to calls a lot quicker.

"Dispatchers have a tough job to prioritize these calls," says Sgt. Benton.

Dispatch prioritizes the large volume of calls depending on urgency - a noise violation versus a robbery for example. In Myrtle Beach Saturday night, the top calls through the Myrtle Beach Police Department included assault, burglary, larceny, drugs and weapon violations amongst resisting arrest, stolen motorcycles, and fraud.

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