City leaders talk about the hiring police force

City leaders talk about the hiring police force

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The city of Myrtle Beach said they have a presence in the south part of downtown but they are also working to have more officers on the streets, but they want the best recruits and that it's going to take time and money.

After talking with property owners in the south mix use area of Myrtle Beach, The Urban Land Institute said many feel they needed to see more police presence in order to feel more safe.

Mark Kruea, Myrtle Beach Public Information Officer said, "I think we have always been conscious that we need to have a visible police presence in the downtown area along Ocean Boulevard, and our police officers there do a great job, they're on foot, they're on bicycles, they're in golf carts. We've got beach patrol, so we do have a presence, but we also have a lot of people in that area."

Kruea said Myrtle Beach has recruited more officers, in fact, a Police Officer Oath of Office and Badge Ceremony is scheduled to happen next week, on Friday November 21st at the Law Enforcement Center.

"This year the budget includes money for 20 additional police officers, that's a 10 percent increase in our police department in this one calendar year. It takes a while to fill a police officer position, you are looking for really talented people for that job so the hiring process takes a while and the training takes a while."

Kruea said hiring the best also really boils down to is money. "The community may say, 'oh, we want more police officers,' but the community has to be willing to pay for police officers too. Money just doesn't appear, it has to come from property taxes business license fees, one of those revenues that would allow us to pay to pay to hire more police officers," Kruea explained.

In the meantime, Kruea said city leaders and law enforcement will make do with what they have to keep up the work of protecting you.

"Balancing the number of police officers a small town can support with number of police officers a busy beach town needs is something our residences and our businesses have to get comfortable with," Kruea added.

If you are interested in doing your part to keep your community safe, applications are being accepted through November 21 for the 29th Citizens Police Academy, which begins January 26, 2015.  Class members meet Monday evenings for 10 weeks to learn about topics such as crime scene investigation, emergency vehicle operation, the K9s, and simulated firearms training.  They also ride along with officers and staff for a behind-the-scenes look at the department. 

Applicants must be residents of Horry County and at least 21-years-old.  A valid driver's license, a criminal history check and a driver's license background check are required.   

For details, contact Sgt. Mike Guthinger at 918-1803 or

Citizens Police Academy applications are available at

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