MBPD requests new weapons, tactical gear

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach Police are pushing for new weapons and tactical equipment. The MBPD filed a grant request for project involving rapid response to critical incidents.

With the funding, the departments hopes to have specifically trained officers equipped with M4 rifles with accessories and ballistic shields.

The writer behind the grant, Marty Brown, said with current events around the country, the department realizes the ever growing situation of active shooters and critical incidents. The MBPD wants to be equipped and ready to handle any emergency situation, keeping the public and police officers as safe as possible.

"It seems law enforcement is always a step behind. Offenders have better weapons, they have the element of surprise. [With this grant] we're trying to outfit officers now to be ready," said Brown over the phone.

The application states recent events have demonstrated that a swift response by officers with the necessary equipment contain the situation and bring it to a quick resolution. In order to do that, Brown wants to see officers with equipment to be ahead of the criminals, including ballistic shields.

The MBPD does not believe current body armor worn by officers offers enough protection from rifle fire. The ballistic shields included in the grant request are portable and designed to protect against high-powered rifle fire.

In addition, the grant request points out that currently patrol officers have no means to make entry into a secured area or structure in a rapid manner. It goes on to state 'situations quickly arise which do not make it practical to call out a Special Weapons Team. The officers on scene need the tools to be able to immediately address the issue at hand to bring the situation under control.'

Right now, officers have limited equipment with the Special Weapons and Tactics team. The grant request states that equipment is not conducive to the current active shooter response scenarios.

Brown pointed out officers often have to react quickly without knowing what situation they are getting into. This equipment, he believes, will help protect officers in unknown, violent situations.

The MBPD is also requesting funding for a Long RangeAcoustical Device, or LRAD. The device allows officers to communicate to the public over long distances. It can be used for emergency management situations, such as giving evacuation directions. It can also be used during hostage negotiations, keeping officers a safe distance away.

The Myrtle Beach City Council has 30 days to review the application to be filed under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice AssistanceGrant (JAG).

On July 7 at 10 a.m., there will be an open public forum at the police department for anyone to express concerns or questions over the grant. 

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