Atlantic Beach Police Chief plans for new equipment, trip to Florida bike rally

Atlantic Beach Police Chief plans for new equipment, trip to Florida bike rally

ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Memorial Day Weekend is quickly approaching and to prepare for the crowds, the Atlantic Beach Police Chief is traveling to another Bike Festival this week.

In Daytona Beach, Florida as many as 500,000 people will attend a 10-day bike rally.

It's an event that Atlantic Beach Police Chief Tim Taylor tells WMBF News he hopes to learn from.

Atlantic Beach's Chief of Police said he believes in the town's Bikefest plans.

"I feel pretty good about the plan that we have, I don't see that I need to make too many changes," Chief  Taylor said.

But Taylor said he is making improvements. As the new chief in town, he admits he doesn't have all the answers, but he wants to make sure he is prepared so for Memorial Day Weekend. He is leaving Wednesday and will travel to Daytona Beach for one of the most popular Bike Festivals in the nation.

"My whole purpose for going to Daytona Beach is to take a look at how Daytona does their Bike Week so, I can get some ideas that perhaps I can come back and share with the Grand Strand and North Myrtle Beach about the way they do things," explained Taylor.

There are specific areas he wants to concentrate on while in Florida.

He adds, "I want to definitely take a closer look at how they do their safety checkpoint, that's something I may want to implement here at Atlantic Beach during Bike Week."

Taylor said he was invited by Daytona Beach law enforcement to come see first-hand how their Bike Week is operated. He said he wants to come back with some ideas to make our event safer.

While in Daytona, Taylor explained that he wanted to see how law enforcement there interacts with the crowds; he plans to dress in regular clothes to observe how they talk with the crowds, how they approached, and perceived.

Taylor said, "They don't have too many problems, so I just want to go there, and pay closer attention to how they do things to see how they are being so successful."

Chief Taylor said the trip is one part for Bikefest improvements.

Under a surge program the department was able to utilize four ATVs that officers will use for beach patrol during Memorial Day weekend.

They were able to add five mini-mobile carts that will be used by officers to monitor the crowds.

"My plan is to have my command staff, we all going to ride together and observe everything as it takes place on Atlantic Beach - we're going to be riding as a team here," Chief Taylor said.

Under the town's budget, they purchased the department's 2014 Dodge Charger, and new police uniforms which will be more visible when working the Bikefest crowds, Chief Taylor said.

"Atlantic Beach, town council, and the mayor, they have all been very supportive of me, they believe in what I am trying to do here and the plans that I have," Chief Taylor added.

The police chief said he will return on Sunday; he plans to meet with SLED and South Carolina Highway Patrol about his trip and his plan, and get their feedback as well.

Atlantic Beach plans to have 20 SLED officers, four Atlantic Beach officers, five command officers, which will consist of police chiefs from around the state, and numerous Highway Patrol troopers for Memorial Day Weekend.

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