MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Police Department is working to improve communication and relationships with the business community through outreach meetings.
These quarterly meetings are all a part of an initiative rolled out by Chief Amy Prock last year to expand the neighborhood watch program.
"We've got to continue to communicate. I can't tell you how important it is to have good relationships" Prock said at Thursday's meeting. "That is why this program is so important, because we also need to have to have those partnerships and relationships with you. Because we can't be everywhere at once.. right? Nope."
Business leaders at Thursday's meeting believe it's important for them to be involved with the police department. They also think the partnership is important to the city as a whole.
Carla Schuessler, executive director for Habitat for Humanity in Horry County, also serves as chair of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce's board of directors.
While Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, it's also a construction company and owns properties in the city. Schuessler said the safety and the partnership is important for the business.
"It's a way that we can not only protect our business that we do there but also contribute back. Things that we need to look out for - who our contact is when we see something," Schuessler said. "It really showed and shared the benefit of businesses and individuals that live and work in the city, what it means when they provide information to the police department. How they can utilize that to apprehend someone quicker or put that as part of their investigation, and what it means when we are all actively involved to protect our city"
She stressed the importance of local businesses working together with the police department and the community to ensure Myrtle Beach is the best it can be.
Myrtle Beach Police Capt. Joey Crosby said business owners have a partner in the MBPD, and police want to work with local businesses to make the community better.
They can do that by joining forces, sharing information and being transparent with one another through various platforms.
Those platforms include the MBPD's P2C, which stands for police to citizen. The website makes residents aware of the calls police responded to and also allows the public to search for incident reports.
Hyper-reach is another platform that allows the police department to communicate, in real time, on major events.
Of course, there's also the various social media accounts.
As of now, there is no set date for the next business community outreach meeting.