Behind the scenes of police surveillance on New Year's Eve

Behind the scenes of police surveillance on New Year's Eve

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - When you travel around the City of Myrtle Beach, police have extra eyes watching you, and when you go to events, officers monitor from more than one view.

The city is finishing up installing more than 800 surveillance cameras, for your safety. According to police, the project should be complete by the end of January.

Right now, the city is working on the final phase of the project, adding the cameras to major intersections.

Although the project fell behind - in part due to weather - police are not seeing delays in its effectiveness.

In a behind the scenes look at these cameras, at The Market Common on New Year's Eve, police said these cameras serve several purposes.

Not only does the camera footage come in handy for investigations, they're a deterrent to crime. The dispatch center also watches these cameras as the action happens to keep police informed, on their way to a scene.

"For instance, at a traffic accident. Once we utilize the traffic cameras that we're putting up, we'll be able to see, is there any entrapment's? Are there injuries? How serious is the wreck? What do the responding officers have to do to ensure their traffic jam doesn't occur so we can deploy those resources to make sure traffic is flowing properly?" Myrtle Beach Police Lt. Joey Crosby said.

Police aren't just relying on these cameras, at major events, they bring out the sky watch tower, too.

"Certainly you can never replace an officer on the road or inside an event site," Lt. Crosby said. "But these technology and the equipment we've gained will certainly help us make the event site more safe."

The view from the sky watch tower can be also watched by police on the ground, streaming through laptops.

The dispatch center can also watch video from any camera, as the action unfolds.

"It gives the officer real time information so they know exactly what they're going into and vital information such as suspect information, victim information, or exactly what the scene looks like," Lt. Crosby said.

Plus, police can always go back and watch any footage, to evaluate an event, or help with an investigation.

"If something were to happen New Year's eve night and we needed to go back and review the tape we would come back to our desktop and utilize the equipment that we have here," he said.

More technology, placing more eyes on the city, is solving more crime, all for your safety.

"The cameras have already proven they've made a difference. There's been several situations in investigations in which in years past we would have not had the information we needed to solve the investigation," Lt. Crosby said.

On top of these cameras, the city is looking at adding static license plate readers to their technology.

To view the story on Myrtle Beach Police capturing license plate information through cameras, click here.

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