Atlantic Beach Police Chief talks about success of Bikefest - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Atlantic Beach Police Chief talks about success of Bikefest

ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Atlantic Beach Police Chief said this year's Bikefest was a success. Chief Tim Taylor said all of the plans he set in place to make Bikefest safer were successful this year.

He said the officers were able to manage the larger crowd, the police presence was strong, and everyone there was respectful, from the visitors to the officers. In all, for his first year as chief, Taylor said he was pleased with the event.

"We had an outstanding time; it was a great event, we only had one arrest and that was for indecent exposure," explained Taylor.

Taylor said he found things that did work included the "Traffic chute, I think it's good, it keeps the traffic flowing so it doesn't get backed up, and I think we are going continue to keep that in place."

He also found some things that were part of his plan that didn't work. "I had a game plan to use our narcotic dogs, but once I looked at more closely, I didn't see a need for that, I felt like it would have drew away from the people and made them feel uncomfortable," said Taylor.

Taylor said the number of attendees for this year's Bikefest was still not clear, but the crowds started to build by the hundreds on Thursday, kicking off the event. He said he found a lot of the folks there were policing themselves.

"One situation, I had this young man that was getting disrespectful with one of the SLED agents, the people that were with him, grabbed hold of him and told him to get in the car, and I was very pleased with that," he said.

Back in March, Taylor took a trip to Daytona Beach, Florida to observe the bike rallies held there. He said some of the things he learned while there he used during Bikefest Weekend.

"We let them know at 2 o'clock, that the vendors was shutting down, and we walked the crowds and politely told the people and asked them with respect to clear the streets, and they did," Taylor explained.

A few businesses in the area said they were pleased with the crowds and with how the town handled the event.

"I think they were prepared this year and I think everything was covered parking was bad in the back, you could open the doors, things were very different this year," said one store employee at a business located in Atlantic Beach. "Everybody that came in was shopping, happy, there was no problems here. It's crowded, traffic is bad, but that's with the crowd," she added.

Other businesses felt there still needs to be improvement when it comes to the traffic and speeding bikers.

Taylor said he making plans for 2016 to make the event better and safer. "I'm going to also take a trip back to Daytona maybe in October where they have their Bike Week there to learn some more things that I can bring back here," he said.

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