MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach Police officers are getting a new piece of equipment designed to keep you safer during big events, and it's something you've probably seen used in bigger cities. The city is ordering a Skywatch Tower to put officers 25 feet up in the air to give them a better look at events going on in areas like Ocean Boulevard.
The surveillance tower will come with five cameras attached to give officers a 360-degree view of the scene at major events. This is especially important for situations where officers just on the ground aren't enough. Police will roll out this tower for events that draw large crowds into a small space, like the Beach Boogie and BBQ festival, Oktoberfest or the Myrtle Beach marathon.
Captain David Knipes says this is a proactive move that will help officers quickly react in an emergency situation.
"If we have an officer that can see that event quickly before we have to be called by somebody and respond, that officer can direct them to that area immediately," explained Knipes. "So it's going to be a better reactive tool as well."
The city is spending about $140,000 to bring the brand new SkyWatch Tower to Myrtle Beach. It will mainly be used just for events or situations where there's a big crowd of people, but with all of the fall festivals that are put on, you could see it being used by the end of August.