The numbers can be daunting: crowds swelling to more than 100,000 with thousands of them on bikes riding on streets and in cities policed by more than 800 officers from across the state and country. It’s that time of year.
North Myrtle Beach officials anticipate their city will swell to a population of more than 100,000 over the Memorial Day weekend as crowds roll in for the Atlantic Beach Bikefest.
And although the spokesman for Myrtle Beach isn’t sure of how many visitors his city will see over the weekend, officials have been preparing for a year for the influx of guests.
Around 580 officers from multiple state, local and federal agencies are set to be in Myrtle Beach this weekend to assist law enforcement during Bikefest.
Last year, 597 officers from 185 agencies assisted law enforcement during the event.
Law enforcement in Myrtle Beach initiated 80 investigations, made 784 arrests, filed 1,138 charges and answered 3,509 calls for service over the weekend in 2016.
Ten weapons offenses were cited in statistics last year, including six reports of shootings that led to at least one death in Myrtle Beach.
Law enforcement will once again rely on technology to help them fight and solve crimes using tools similar to the ones officers used last year to recover 55 stolen motorcycles, three stolen vehicles and solve 57 drug cases.
Myrtle Beach has more than 1,000 electronic eyes from surveillance and body cameras to license plate readers, scouring public places, to help officers investigate incidents and track suspects.
A 23.1-mile traffic loop will also be used this year between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in an effort to keep traffic moving. But motorists should expect delays on heavily-trafficked thoroughfares.
In North Myrtle Beach last year, officers made 66 arrests, issued 85 tickets, worked 32 traffic accidents and answered 991 calls for service over the Memorial Day weekend. Calls for service were down compared to each year since 2006.
Pat Dowling, spokesman for the city of North Myrtle Beach, says the city will have help from around 200 officers this weekend.