150 fewer police officers for Memorial Day weekend than in years - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

150 fewer police officers for Memorial Day weekend than in years past, official says

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) - In recent years, police support from outside agencies has been down in Myrtle Beach during Bike Fest something the city wants to change.

City officials have said one of the biggest issues stemming from last week’s Bike Fest is the lack of manpower.

"We were woefully understaffed,” said Myrtle Beach City Manager Tom Leath.

In total 400 police officers patrolled Myrtle Beach during bike fest, 200 from the city and 200 from other organizations.

However just a few years ago, Leath says the support from other agencies was higher.

"The highest we've ever had from outside agency help is about 325, 350, somewhere in there,” he said.

Leath says the reason for the lower numbers is due to the recession a few years ago.

He says agencies that would supply the extra officer’s ranks were affected.

Leath says since then, the support numbers during Bike Fest have been down, but he says it is not from a lack of trying.

"There have been requests to get that number back up but we have not been successful,” he said. “Obviously after this weekend there will be an extra push to get that number up. Certainly we're going to ask the state to send additional help,” Leath added.

He says on top of asking for extra officers, city officials will request the forces that are supplied be used in a different way.

"Right now they send resources to the entire Grand Strand. We believe there is not as many needed in North Myrtle Beach and Atlantic Beach so we're going to look at them deploying more to our area,” said Leath.

He says as the weekend progress, support officers trickle down to the Myrtle Beach anyway.

He says the goal is to have the officers established in town by Thursday, instead of calling for help on Saturday.

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