Temporary beach access in effect for surveillance camera install - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Temporary beach access in effect for surveillance camera installations

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -The number of break-ins to vehicles parked at beach access points sky rockets during summer months. To keep a better eye on your property, the city of Myrtle Beach is installing security cameras in those areas.

On Monday, crews began Phase Two of the camera project, temporarily shutting down the beach access point on 38th and 42nd Avenues North. 

This creates a permanent police presence, but officers aren't just sitting back waiting for a criminal to be caught on camera. The Myrtle Beach Police Department launches special operations throughout the summer when there is an uptick in crime.

It will send out specialized units in marked and unmarked cars with plain clothed or uniformed officers to deter crime in areas such as those beach access point. 

Unlike other jurisdictions on the Grand Strand, dispatchers can watch the video feed in real time, giving responding officers up-to-the-minute information before they even get to the scene. However, it also documents images.

"We have that capability, as well. If we have a situation the occurs at a certain location we can go back and monitor those images captured to see if they are useful for that investigation," explained Lt. Joey Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

Similar cameras have already been used for just that purpose. In fact, approximately 825 cameras will be installed throughout the city through three phases. The first included 130 cameras on Ocean Boulevard.

"We used the cameras during the Carolina Country Music Festival and the Memorial Day Weekend bike fest. We used those cameras to monitor crowd control activity and also to monitor traffic," said Lt. Crosby.

They also proved their worth during a missing juvenile case earlier this month. When Jalene Olivia Coward disappeared from her hotel, officers were able to track down two cars of interest.

"The vehicles turned out not to be part of the investigation but the cameras were useful to monitor that area,” said Lt. Crosby.

Once the cameras are installed at the beach access points, the city will roll out Phase Three. Lt. Crosby explained this includes installation of cameras on Kings Highway and back streets.

According to Mark Kruea, the spokesperson for the City of Myrtle Beach, each camera unit costs $1,000. The cost for the cameras is upwards of $825,000, while the operation costs are nearly $1.3 million. The city plans to finance the project over the next three years.

The beach access points on 38th and 42nd Avenues North will be temporarily closed for the day on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, according to Lt. Crosby.


Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.




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