MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Local police agencies try to plan for everything with training, and that includes handling diversity while enforcing the law. The Myrtle Beach Police Department puts on a cultural diversity training on every year for surrounding local agencies.
Each year, though the goal is the same, the discussion is a little different. There are three main talking points this year: cultural professionalism, working with a minority community, and how to respond to allegations of racial profiling.
The Grand Strand, particularly during tourist season, can be very uniquely diverse. People from across the country and across the world from all different types of backgrounds and economic statuses flock here.
That's why it's important for police to be on point.
"A large Part of our job is to be effective communicators, and enhance our communication skills," says Lt. Joey Crosby with MBPD. "And by taking this training, it allows us to enhance those skills so that we effectively communicate with everyone and get our point across so people may understand, although they may not agree, with what we're doing."
This year, the Department of Defense is conducting the training. "They bring a unique set of eyes to various events that have happened across the United States this year. This instructor has also been in Ferguson and dealt with the incident in Ferguson, so he's able to bring back some information to us and share what he saw in Ferguson."
Police say it's important to have this training every single year because Myrtle Beach is so diverse. Officers transition from Memorial Day and BikeFest, to high school senior weeks, to weeks focusing on family vacations, so there are very different groups of people in town at different times.