North Myrtle Beach plans for future bike rallies

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Whether or not Gov. Haley's comments stick about putting an end to Bikefest, leaders in North Myrtle Beach are going to get prepared for the return of bikers next year, just to be safe.

There is no word yet into the details of next year's safety plan in response to Bikefest, but North Myrtle Beach Public Information Officer Pat Dowling said it will be conducted through the police department.

City residents have been voicing their concerns to city council through e-mail. Many people are complaining about not feeling safe and a lack of enforcement by police for the noise ordnance.

Cynthia Walters lives on Ocean Boulevard she explained what it was like with police.

"They would see it. They heard it, but they did nothing," she said.

"If people are looking for a totally quiet weekend, then we failed. But if people were looking for a weekend where we were on top of pretty much most major crime, then we succeeded," explained Dowling.

Walters adds she just wants to feel respected from the bikers who turn out for Bikefest while they're in the city.

There was 144 out of area law enforcement officers who were brought in to help uphold the law. That cost the city $127,000, according to Dowling.

This year, North Myrtle Beach police had to command posts set up to help law enforcement. Dowling said before bikers even arrived, police were checking social media sites for any information on potential crimes being discussed.

Dowling said the biker gang the Rough Riders had to be removed by officers during Bikefest.

"They worked with us for a while, ultimately they had too many people. It spilled out into the street ... they were evicted. And they went home without a problem," said Dowling.

There were 27 motorcycle thefts in North Myrtle Beach during both Harley Week and Bikefest this year. Most of those did occur during Memorial Day weekend.

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