MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Just as it did after a violent Memorial Day weekend in 2014, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is offering the city the tools it needs to combat crime following a rash of shootings in the downtown area.
Watching the Facebook live video of a shooting on Ocean Boulevard that sent seven people to the hospital is a moment MBACC President Brad Dean doesn't want to relive.
"It's also very troubling to see people who are attacking each other, shooting each other, fighting, in an area that is typically home to families," Dean said.
Now, as it did three years ago, the chamber is preparing to help.
"Frankly, I can message safety a lot better than I can message mayhem and it looks like we will need to do something similar for this situation as well," Dean said.
The chamber plans to once again ask the state to use money that would normally go toward advertising to be redirected to law enforcement.
"Hopefully, that will enable the city to hire what they need to adequately cover Ocean Boulevard," Dean said.
He added this is something that must go through the state and it's important to know this process may be different because it's looking at one holiday weekend versus year-round safety.
Right now, Dean said the community needs to stand by the officers it has.
"I think it's important to stand with and by our police officers, to make sure we are with them and not working against them," he said. "We may not have enough police officers, but the ones we have are committed to keeping the community safe and we need to support them in any way that we can."
Dean said while this is one solution, it's more of a long-term solution and the short-term one needs to happen sooner rather than later.
This effort is something Dean believes will be a city, state and community action. He added that he is looking forward to Gov. Henry McMaster's visit on Thursday.
"I'm very encouraged that Gov. McMaster is taking the bull by the horns," Dean said. "He's coming here to meet with local leaders, but he's not just talking; he is actually going to take action. Gov. McMaster is a law and order guy, he understands this and he's also visited here. He understands the family-friendly nature of the Myrtle Beach area. In speaking with me, he's assured me we're going to get to the bottom of this problem, we're going to resolve it and frankly we welcome the governor's help."
WMBF News will have full coverage of the governor's visit to Myrtle Beach both on air and online.