Myrtle Beach City Council to discuss curfew time change

Myrtle Beach City Council to discuss curfew time change

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A recent rash of shootings in the Myrtle Beach area have residents on alert and city leaders looking for solutions.

Tuesday, city council members are meeting to decide whether it's necessary to extend the juvenile curfew on Ocean Boulevard.

Myrtle Beach currently has a 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for those ages 17 and under. But moving the curfew hour to midnight, or earlier, will be the topic of discussion Tuesday.

Last week, in a closed-door meeting with law enforcement, Governor Henry McMaster promised all state resources will be available to Myrtle Beach to help fight crime.

The curfew change and added barricades are steps in the process to curb violence, but right now, law enforcement will not reveal each strategy that will be used for crime prevention.

The city is working with law enforcement in Horry County, at Coastal Carolina University and in North Myrtle Beach to help increase visibility along Ocean Boulevard, Kings Highway and as far out as US 17.

People who work on the boulevard gave their opinion on the possible curfew change.

"If they are going to do something they are going to do it anyways, they don't care. If a criminal is going to do something, they're going to do it anytime, any night, any place," said a Wacky T's employee.

So what does this mean for your teenager who's out on Ocean Boulevard late at night?

The curfew was adopted in 2010 and makes it a misdemeanor for a minor to be in a public place during the curfew hours. It also is a misdemeanor for the minor's parent or guardian to allow the minor to remain in a public place during curfew hours.

The only exception to the juvenile curfew is if the minor is with a parent or guardian, involved in an emergency or on an errand because of an emergency.
There will also be an exception if the juvenile is going directly to or from work, on an errand for their parent or guardian or attending an adult-supervised recreational activity sponsored by the city or a similar organization.

One manager who works on Ocean Boulevard agrees with the change. He says it will hurt business, but keeping people safe is the main priority.

"11 p.m. to 1 a.m. that's all we get is teenagers that are out. But like I said, we have a lot of people who are calling wondering about if it's safe, so the fact that we're making the decision, that will make them feel better about coming down here," said Peaches Corner Manager Ben Pond.

City council members are meeting Tuesday afternoon at 2 at the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center to discuss the ordinance. The public is invited to attend.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.