MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Law enforcement agencies from across the state will be patrolling the streets of Myrtle Beach for the next few days. The officers met for a briefing Thursday to go over the city's plans to have a safe Memorial Day Bikefest.
Over 600 officers from SLED, South Carolina Highway Patrol, and the surrounding counties all gathered at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center Thursday evening. Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes says the purpose was to show gratitude for the states resources, and to make sure everyone is on the same page.
"When you have large numbers, then you have to have the ability to control those numbers," Rhodes said.
This weekend will be one of the busiest for the city of Myrtle Beach. Not just for the popular holiday, but for also for Memorial Day Bikefest. That's why agencies and municipalities from across South Carolina showed up to lend a hand.
"We wanted to provide a welcome dinner for those officers for coming. We wanted to make them feel welcome and to say thank you for leaving their families and coming to our city to assist us with our operational plan," said MB Police Lt. Joey Crosby.
Mayor Rhodes says this weekend will also benefit many of the officers, by giving them experience on how to deal with the large crowds. One of the new items on the agenda this year: the banning of golf carts along Ocean Boulevard.
"It was really causing some problems with our guys having to make sure that people were moving around safely, and we just felt like it was time that we did something to change and the golf carts was one of them," Lt. Crosby said.
The city will also employ the traffic loop for the second year in a row. The loop will keep traffic flowing through the city, turning a large portion of Ocean Boulevard into a one-way street heading south.
"This is the second year with the different traffic pattern in the loop which worked last year a great fashion. We think it will work again this year. We've got state and local folks working together to come up with this plan," said State Senator Luke Rankin.
Rankin says he hopes this Memorial Day will go smoother than in recent years, but feels that with a solid plan and the added resources, Myrtle Beach can get it done.
Rankin says a problem in the past was "inability for law enforcement or EMTs or first responders to get into a situation, which is what we had two years ago...Hopefully our tourists and our visitors will likewise see this as a positive and have great memories and make this a positive experience."
Myrtle Beach Police Chief Warren Gall says the goal is for officers not to have to deal with any incidents, and that everyone stays safe throughout the weekend.