MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Myrtle Beach Police Department is working to switch up patrolling responsibilities on the sand so ocean rescues are Myrtle Beach Fire Department's primary responsibility, and the police can focus more on areas around the beach - like Ocean Boulevard.
"This is certainly not a huge change," said Myrtle Beach Police Captain Joey Crosby. "What we have learned from our statistics is that criminals that commit criminal acts on the beach, they tend to come from Ocean Boulevard, so we must have the officers that can go from the ocean to Ocean Boulevard to address that activity."
The proposal was brought to the Beach Advisory Committee Wednesday to address concerns or recommendations.
"Were going to encompass parts of Ocean Boulevard within that beach patrol officers area of responsibility so they can go from the beach back to Ocean Boulevard to make sure our beach corridors are safe," he said.
With this proposal, Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue will also be adding crews to the beach from three to four. Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ian Maxwell said there are two people and one vehicle to each crew.
"Well we're excited. We've been down there for the past couple years. The guys do a tremendous job. We work really well with the lifeguard service and the police department," Maxwell said. "There's going to be some additional shifts available for our members, but overall they're excited. Our team continues to grow every year."
He said the proposal requires Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue to patrol the beach from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Maxwell said he isn't sure of an exact cost, but expects overtime and equipment costs to make up some of that.
"It is giving the police department the opportunity to put some police officers up on the road, so if you balance the cost of our overtime against the fact that they're going to have additional officers available, it's probably a pretty good deal," said Maxwell.
Crosby said Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock will present the plans to city council at the next meeting.