Changes being implemented following violent Father's Day weekend - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Changes being implemented following violent Father's Day weekend

Barricades are also out along Ocean Boulevard to control crowds and promote safety (Source: WMBF News) Barricades are also out along Ocean Boulevard to control crowds and promote safety (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - After several shootings over Father’s Day weekend, this past weekend came and went with no violent incidents.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department put some changes in place following concerns over violence. Among those are an increased police presence, so outside agencies are helping out.

This past weekend, Myrtle Beach police officers were joined by the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, the Horry County Police Department, the North Myrtle Beach Police Department, the Conway Police Department, the Coastal Carolina University Department of Public Safety, the 15th Circuit Solicitor's Drug Enforcement Unit, the Gang Enforcement Unit, the State Law Enforcement Division, constables and the Department of Probation, Pardon and Parole.

That put a total of 63 officers in the waterfront area of the city, MBPD Lt. Joey Crosby said.

Police used light towers and the sky watch tower as well, he said.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department is allowing officers to volunteer for overtime and it’s also requiring each shift to rotate through for mandatory overtime each weekend, Crosby said.

“We feel like with the operational plan that we have, with the commitment that we have from the outside agencies, that we have the sufficient officers to have a visible presence along Ocean Boulevard and to make that commitment to ensure everyone’s safety while they’re visiting here or living here,” he said.

Digital signs warned teenagers about the juvenile curfew of 1 a.m., which could soon be changed to midnight.

“That’s good because there’s a lot of kids out here that’s wandering the streets,” Cortez Brown said. “Wandering the streets just trying to get into something.”

“Honestly I don’t know if it’ll work,” Jubril Nichols said.

“Anything bad or violent happens after midnight, like when the clubs close at 3,” Tori-Ann Ferrigon said. “I don’t think teens are supposed to be out that late anyway.”

City council members passed the first reading of the amended curfew ordinance Tuesday, which also takes out one exclusion to the current ordinance.

Teenagers would no longer be able to use the excuse that they’re running an errand directed by their parents because City Manager John Pedersen said parents shouldn’t be sending their children out that late at night to run errands anyway.

Dione Buonto knows the kids under her wing at the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand aren’t usually the ones out late and getting into trouble.

“I do think when you provide teens a place to go where they can hang out, be themselves and explore opportunities they haven’t had, it gives them a more positive thing to focus on then when they’re bored at home and maybe make a wrong decision,” Buonto said.

She said the Boys and Girls Club, as well as the city and other organizations, offer a variety of activities for teenagers to keep them occupied.

“I think if you save one kid, you’re making a dent and you’re making a difference,” she said.

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