Look up to see the new tool Myrtle Beach Police have for security at big events

Myrtle Beach Police's SkyWatch is a mobile surveillance tower debuting at this weekend's BBQ festival. (Source: Drew Hansen)
Myrtle Beach Police's SkyWatch is a mobile surveillance tower debuting at this weekend's BBQ festival. (Source: Drew Hansen)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Friday kicks off the first day of the ninth annual Beach, Boogie and BBQ Festival at its new location.

The three-day event will be held in front of the Horry-Georgetown Technical College campus in Myrtle Beach.

In addition to the new location this year, the city will debut its mobile surveillance tower.

The tower stands about 25 feet tall, takes about 30 minutes to set up, and the price for the new surveillance tool is about $140,000.

Myrtle Beach Police Captain Kevin Heins said the tower is well worth the price.  That is because it can cover as much ground as about 10 police officers.

"I can see certain things at this level but 25 feet up in theair I have a better view of the entire surrounding," added Heins.  "If I had to put fourofficers to watch an event in a parking lot with these cameras and one ortwo operators in there we can have a birds eye view of everything."

In light of the violence during Memorial Day weekend, Heins said the department pushed even more for the tower.

While MBPD owns the tower, you may see it at events in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee if other agencies need help monitoring events.

Police told WMBF News the tower will be used throughout the year.

"We could use it for the upcoming marathon in February at the starting line to watch everything going on there and while the race isgoing on we can move it to the finish line or another area," added Heins.

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