When I was offered a job on the Grand Strand back in 1987, I looked at several different things before I said 'yes'. I looked into the company, what kiind of radio station it was, what my responsibilities would be..you know, all the basics about a new gig and whether or not it offered me a move up the ladder from my last job in North Carolina. The station was kind of a pit and the pay wasn't great, but it was a move up, so my quest for mediocrity and middle management began. Of all the things I researched before saying yes, I never once looked at the state of South Carolina to see who they voted for in previous presidential elections, who the Senators were or if it was considered a 'red' or 'blue' state...even though those terms weren't used in 1987. I was going where the job was. So, when I make mention about how 'red' South Carolina is and someone tells me to move to a more liberal state if I don't like it, I laugh, because my job is here...it's not in NY or Cali.
But my question is, why should I move? I don't consider myself to be an Illinoisian even though I was born and raised there....or a South Carolinian even though I've been here since the late 80s. I consider myself to be an American. And that's where the problem starts. I guess I have the mistaken assumption that people in Congress have everyone's best interest in mind when considering new bills, laws and legislation...not just the people who believe like they do. Wrong. I assume that the Congress and the President would be able to get together to do what best for all Americans, like me, rather than petty bickering and political one-upsmanship. Wrong again. I'd like to think that in the 21st century, my vote for president would count the same as anyone elses, but with the antiquated electoral college still in effect, unless you live in a state that thinks like you do, you vote doesn't count. My vote should count. I'm an American...and having your vote count is one of our most sacred rights. A right that I've been without since I moved here.
So....why don't I move somewhere else? Because my job's here....in Myrtle Beach.....in South Carolina......in America. But apparently being an American isn't good enough. I guess some rights stop at the border. The state border, that is.
The website www.neighborhoodscout.com ranked Myrtle Beach as the 17th most dangerous city in the nation. FBI statistics show that our crime rate is 170 per one thousand residents. I don’t know about you, but I’m not pleased with that. It’s quite embarrassing and unnerving at the same time.
Local officials argue our population swells with tourists in the summer months and that the stats are derived based on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 FULL-TIME residents. It doesn’t take into account the millions of tourists that roll into town each summer. With transient visitors comes crime… so when you apply it to the full-time population numbers, it is a disproportionate percentage and not a fair depiction. Those stats should be applied to the average number of people in town… not to full-time residents. Shoulda, coulda, woulda….
I get it. I really do… but here’s my question. What tourist would want to bring their family to a city that’s on the top 20 most dangerous city list? What business would want to invest in a seemingly crime-ridden coastal town? What happened to all the politicians running for election that paraded through our interviews saying that reducing crime is their platform? Does anyone care about the PR nightmare of being ranked so high on this list?
Did you see the Myrtle Beach police crime stats published by WMBF-TV on its website? The statistics show that both violent and property crimes increased from 2012 to 2013. Even though the total number of murders, rapes and robberies has decreased, the increase in aggravated assault alone pushed the number of violent crimes from 178 to 228. Makes you think about arming yourself, no? Or maybe moving? The total number of property crimes in 2013 is 6% higher than last year. The number of larcenies, motor vehicle thefts and arson increased, as well… Can you say “ALARM ME” or should I say “ALARMING!”…
This will be the first summer that I will be here the entire time. I’m bracing myself for traffic, crowds, long lines, motorcycles, golf carts… AND CRIME?!?! I have two teenagers. What the heck? I’m a bit afraid. I’ll be packing heat whenever possible, but what about my kids? What about you?
Local officials say that 46% of crime is committed by the homeless. Hmmmm. Then, how do the tourists factor into those FBI stats? How much crime is committed by tourists? How much by residents? If nearly half of the crime is committed by the homeless, then what is being done about the problem?
I’m not a crime expert, by no means, but now that I’ve complained I feel I should make a few suggestions:
1. The groups that “enable” the homeless to remain homeless need to cease and desist. Only the groups that provide acute care or that provide employment resources should be allowed to operate within the city.
2. Homeless people should be registered, photographed and documented within the city if they want to be on a job-finder or job-training roster.
3. Police the areas where homeless people congregate. More community policing. Research the best ways to handle it. Call upon experts!
4. Research what other tourist towns do to control tourism crime and crowds. Un-Armed Voluntary Auxiliary police force? Seasonal police force? Private security company? How could the current police force be as effective as they are in the off-season in the on-season??? They are completely out-numbered by droves of tourists!!
5. GANGS! DRUGS! PROSTITUTION! Get rid of it all. They bring down the city. They attract the lowest form of humankind. They bring in sex trafficking. They bring in illegal guns. They allow the drek of society to feed off the drek of society. LET THEM DO BUSINESS SOMEWHERE ELSE! FORCE THEM OUT! They have no business doing business in one of the most beautiful coastal towns in America. HOW DARE THEY!?!? How could our local officials, business owners and we, the residents, allow these sub-human business owners to exist, and in some cases THRIVE, in this town???? It’s all about the money… it always is. GANGS are a business… so is PIMPING. You all know I'm not a big fan of strip clubs either. Some of those engage in shady activities, as well.
If you love this town, you would elect officials that do what they say they promise they will do. I know that’s hard to accomplish but at least you can vote the bad ones out. Don’t let them bait and switch.
A few fancy festivals and bikini contests will only put lipstick on a pig.
HIRE MORE COPS! PAY THEM BETTER! CREATE TASK FORCES! HELP COMMUNITY WATCH GROUPS THRIVE THROUGH TRAINING!
Consult with Rudolf Giuliani… He turned New York City around in a New York Minute. Before he took office, you couldn’t walk through the Bus Terminal / 42 st area without getting propositioned by a hooker, hustled by a beggar, tripping over a drug dealer or mugged by a thug. Remember that movie “Death Wish?” Yeah, it was just like that. You needed to protect yourself!
The time is now. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce works so hard to help this town thrive. The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation and the “good” politicians work so hard to entice businesses to build and grow here for our economy. Small businesses concentrate on growing their businesses to create more jobs. The schools and colleges here are working hard to educate our future workforce. Parents are trying to keep their children safe. Volunteers help the community because they love the people here. Our veterans make us proud!
The future is bright…. The present is tarnished.
"One legislator accused me of having a nineteenth-century attitude on law and order. That is a totally false charge. I have an eighteenth-century attitude. That is when the Founding Fathers made it clear that the safety of law-abiding citizens should be one of the government's primary concerns." – Ronald Reagan
His mother had been expecting him to arrive in Frankfurt and contacted authorities when he didn't show up. Police say it's unlikely that he was part of a terror group.
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