MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach city leaders adopted a resolution on Wednesday that will declare summer weekends as “extraordinary events,” but the designation may not last the whole summer.
During a four-hour meeting, city leaders amended the resolution that states all weekends leading up to the Fourth of July weekend will be considered an extraordinary event.
The Myrtle Beach City Council will then revisit the issue during a meeting after the Fourth of July and will see if the designation needs to continue until Sept. 6.
An extraordinary event gives police permission to temporarily shut down a business if police determine that it poses a public safety risk and that business has been warned. It also allows the department to implement a curfew.
Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock outlined a public safety plan for the “extraordinary event” weekends that will have Ocean Boulevard closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday around 9 p.m. during the “extraordinary event” weekends.
The closure of Ocean Boulevard, concerned major businesses in the area.
“You’re talking about enacting policies that will negatively affect us even further. You will have businesses that don’t survive this,” said Michelle Kerscher, the general manager of the Gay Dolphin.
“We would all lose so much to be shut down at a certain time Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Rachel Beckerman, brand manager for the SkyWheel, added.
The city council will also have a second-reading on a proposed ordinance as it pertains to extraordinary events.
According to the meeting agenda, that proposed ordinance would:
- Declare events of any description with an anticipated or actual estimated attendance of greater than 10,000 people to be an extraordinary event
- Declare the “NOPI” and “Mustang” (and other similar events) to be an Extraordinary Event based upon the history of disorderly, unruly, and sometimes unlawful behavior, including but not limited to noise ordinance violations, motor vehicle violations and resulting traffic congestion
- Declare Memorial Day Weekend (Thursday through Monday), July 4th (from July 2 to July 7), and Labor Day Weekend (Thursday through Monday), as extraordinary events
- Delete section referencing motorcycle events immediately preceding and on Memorial Day
- Authorize the chief of police (with the concurrence of the city manager) to temporarily close businesses when it is necessary to ensure the safety of the public. Such action to be taken only upon the failure of at least one previous effort to achieve compliance, and to be effective only from the moment of such order until that business normally reopens (but not sooner than four hours)
- To authorize the city manager to impose a curfew in certain areas of the city as necessary to maintain public safety and good order.
On top of the “extraordinary event” discussion, Prock addressed national and local concerns about policing.
She updated the city council about policy changes that the department has put in place.
The department has banned chokeholds and strangleholds. It will also have de-escalation training twice a year and if an officer doesn’t report excessive use of force, they will face consequences, which could include termination.
“We will work together to always do the right thing and hold our team and others accountable for their actions,” Prock said.