Atlantic Beach Police Chief returns from Daytona Beach with new concepts for Bikefest

Atlantic Beach Police Chief returns from Daytona Beach with new concepts for Bikefest

ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Atlantic Beach Police Chief Timothy Taylor said he received key concepts from shadowing officers during Daytona Beach's Bike Week.

Chief Taylor says that one key concept is attitude. He attended the event undercover, dressed as a civilian, at first. What he noticed was an easy back and forth among officers, bikers, and vendors.

"You know I looked at them talk to people with respect. 'Sir, can you do this? Sir, can you do that.' And you know, that's what people want to hear. They wanted to be treated with respect," Chief Taylor said.

Taylor says he spoke with some bikers who attend Bikefest here on the Grand Strand, and right now, they told him they don't feel comfortable.

"Just like if you invite a person to your house, they are going to be on their best behavior. But if they come to your house uninvited, some are going to show off," Taylor said.

Another area Taylor says officers honed in on was gang violence. He says officers in Daytona would shadow these groups.

"I'll be able to identify them, and know that they was here, so if anything do take place, we got areas we can start looking if it comes down to a gang-related shooting," Taylor said.

Officers also followed a "three step rule," meaning if you can't catch someone in three steps, and the offense is very minor, stay back, Taylor explained.

"As officers here, you're already outnumbered because of the crowd, and just by you going out there chasing them, it's just going to make things worse if it's not a serious crime," Taylor added.

Taylor said to monitor and keep the crowd safe. The crowd in Florida is larger than what we see during Bikefest, and Daytona only had 16 officers up and down the main strip, but their system worked.

Taylor says Atlantic Beach Police Department now has five officers after a recent hiring a couple of weeks ago.

"They rolled as two, a two-man team, that way there if a problem comes up, they can deal with it," Taylor said.

Taylor hopes to work with his officers, and the officers who will be in Atlantic Beach for Bike Fest, to do the same. As much planning and preparing is going on up and down the Grand Strand for Bikefest, Taylor feels more need to make this trip, to see first hand how officers are handling much larger events.

"I think we need to go together and take notes from them and how they are being so successful," Taylor said.

Chief Taylor plans to work all of these concepts into his plan for Bikefest.

He will also be sharing these ideas with Atlantic Beach's Bikefest committee on Saturday.

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