City of Myrtle Beach using ‘positive activation’ to deter crimes in certain areas

Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 5:49 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The city of Myrtle Beach is using a unique way to try and decrease crime in certain areas of the city.

It’s a method called “positive activation” and it’s bringing on some positive results.

One example from the city is Withers Swash Park, where the city transformed some unused areas of the park into a disc golf course and dog park.

The Swashbuckler Disc Golf Course opened at the end of September and has already given the area a positive purpose.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department reported a nearly 50% drop in calls for service in October 2022 compared to October 2021.

“There has been a significant reduction in calls and significant reduction in the nature of the calls,” said Myrtle Beach police Sgt. Tom Vest. “We still have officers that come and check the park, it’s part of our normal duties. And one thing that everyone has noticed is the feel has changed, we’ve given it a purpose.”

Vest said some of the calls officers would receive were in relation to overdoses, drug-related crimes and prostitution in the park.

The city spent about $30,000 to transform areas of the park, but Assistant Public Information Director Meredith Denari said it’s money well spent.

“It’s something that monetarily, yes, $30,000 is a good chunk of money, but it’s worth it for this neighborhood and investing in our neighborhoods,” Denari said.

City leaders said it’s about listening to the community and providing services that all residents can enjoy.