Limited resources for Bikefest security compared to previous years

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) –The violent Memorial Day weekend in Myrtle Beach left many residents calling for more police, patrols, and help when it comes to fighting crime during Bikefest and the holiday weekend.  While hundreds of extra officers come to the Grand Strand to assist local agencies, there are not as many as there used to be.

City Manager Tom Leath said the number of extra officers from other jurisdictions started to drop off when the recession hit.  Agencies just could not afford to send as many officers to the Grand Strand even though those officers have hotel rooms, food, and per diems paid for by host cities.

North Myrtle Beach City Spokesperson Pat Dowling said limited resources for public safety groups to prioritize enforcement to focus on areas deemed hotspots.  Dowling said having more officers would allow public safety to focus on other offenses including noise and traffic violations.

How to get more money to better fund Bikefest security may be one issue discussed when Governor Nikki Haley meets with Grand Strand leaders on Friday.

Here's a breakdown of how many officers different agencies had this year -

MBPD: A combination of 200 local officers and about 200 more from other agencies

NMB Public Safety: About 300 officers including local patrols, troopers, and out-of-area officers

SCHP: More than 150 troopers sent to work Memorial Day weekend in Horry County

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