Myrtle Beach (S.C.) to Install 800+ Security Cameras

A three-phase municipal video surveillance program nears completion; police dispatchers will monitor the camera feeds.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – By the end of the year more than 800 video cameras will be installed on Myrtle Beach’s streets, intersections and beach accesses, The Charlotte Observer reports.

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Conway, S.C., officials also recently installed 25 cameras at the River City’s attractions such as Riverfront Park, the Riverwalk, Collins Park, Conway Recreation Center, Smith-Jones Recreation Center and the city’s public safety building, said Lt. Selena Small.

Myrtle Beach officials are following many larger departments by putting up surveillance cameras in the public rights-of-way, spending $2.1 million on the three-phase program, Lt. Joey Crosby told the newspaper.

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“People see cameras on poles hopefully it will deter and help them rethink their thought process of doing something illegal,” Crosby said. “This is just us continuing to move forward with the technology that is available.”

Not many departments along the Grand Strand have gone to the lengths that Myrtle Beach has with cameras and surveillance videos. But some of them such as Conway and Horry County police have implemented the technology.

“We will be eventually outfitting every boat landing and maybe more sites as we deem them necessary,” Horry County police Lt. Raul Denis told the newspaper. “They’re not cheap, but I think we are working toward that direction” of using more surveillance cameras.

Horry County officials had cameras installed at six of the county’s 28 boat landings about six months ago. State grants worth $57,000 paid for placing the cameras at Chris Anderson Landing, Red Bluff Landing, S.C. 22/U.S. 17 Interchange Landing, Reaves Ferry Landing, Enterprise Landing and Peachtree, which is where Heather Elvis’ vehicle was found after she was last seen in December 2013.

Horry County police used the camera footage to solve a vandalism incident and arrest a Georgetown man in connection with a metal fish statue, valued at $1,000, being taken, and $350 worth of damage at the landing, Denis said.

“It’s the future of policing,” Denis said. “Policing in general is going that way. A lot of major departments have cameras like New York and L.A. They have cameras in the inner city where they can do facial recognition with. It’s pretty incredible what the technology has enabled law enforcement to do.”

Other departments such as North Myrtle Beach have no plans to add cameras. Pat Dowling, North Myrtle Beach spokesman, said the city is focusing on other priorities.

Conway officials are monitoring their 25 security cameras on the city-owned property, Small said. The camera system and its installation cost about $40,000.

The footage can be used during criminal investigations, she said, adding that a goal of the cameras is to deter crime.

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