Myrtle Beach’s status as fastest-growing city in the US raises public safety concerns

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 11:01 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - While Myrtle Beach is known for visitors and new businesses, other recent development in the area has caught the attention of people nationwide.

The city was ranked in the top spot of U.S. News and World Report’s “Fastest-Growing Cities in the U.S.” The outlet said the rankings are based on net migration to metro areas across the country.

Other factors included quality of life, job market, value of living as well as people’s desire to live there.

That’s not the only ranking listing Myrtle Beach near the top, though.

Crime data from the FBI ranked the city the third-highest in crime rates in 2020 when compared to a list of 30 major cities in the country.

Some visitors WMBF News spoke to Wednesday said that number surprised them.

“It doesn’t give a very safe feeling to someone like me coming out of town,” said Dana Durkin, a visiting tourist.

Meanwhile, city officials argue the crime rates for Myrtle Beach are skewed due to its smaller population compared to other, larger tourist destinations.

Authorities also say keeping the area safe is a collaborative effort.

“It really comes done to partnerships between us and all the other Law Enforcement agencies throughout this entire region, said MCpl. Tom Vest of the Myrtle Beach Police Department. “We have seen exponential growth here in the city and all throughout the jurisdictions, and working together we’re able to keep everyone safe. it’s our priority, it’s what we work hard on and we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

Some visitors also offered suggestions to police in the area.

“I would say undercover cops”, said one visitor. “Have them mingle with the people. That way they can keep their eye on disruptive behavior, I think that would be the best thing. have undercover cops mingling with the common folk.”

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