Myrtle Beach delays plans to buy gyrocopter for drug enforcement - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Myrtle Beach delays plans to buy gyrocopter for drug enforcement

(Source: WMBF News) (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – By delaying plans to buy a gyrocopter, a small, maneuverable helicopter, for drug enforcement, the Myrtle Beach Police Department will keep its feet on the ground for now, though its head is plainly in the clouds.

According to City Spokesperson Mark Kruea, the $207,000 originally set aside for the gyrocopter will go toward a new mobile command center for police.

The need for a command center and a more visible police presence arose after several shootings Easter Weekend. It would be used primarily for large-scale events, instead of relying on other agencies for assistance.

The department could acquire the command center by late summer. And, the gyrocopter idea could still take flight. Kruea called it a good tool and said it could be included in the 2018-19 budget.

"It gives us an asset that we may not have had in the past.  Its uses would include surveillance, for either drug use or other use, tracking, if needed, ocean water rescues - just generally keeping an eye on things in the event we needed to do that," said Mark Kruea.

While drug seizure money could pay for the gyrocopter, the general budget would cover its maintenance and fuel would be covered by the general budget.

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