MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – More than 600 people have signed a petition calling for Myrtle Beach officials to control the crime.
This comes after a violent weekend on Ocean Boulevard.
Before moving to Surfside Beach, John Henderson briefly lived and vacationed in Myrtle Beach for decades.
He created the petition on Monday and says the support has been overwhelming from both locals and visitors.
A “Clean up Myrtle Beach” Facebook page was also created.
Henderson says the city has gone “down hill” for years.
“It’s embarrassing. You’ve seen it happen in other cities and people hate it and now it’s come to our city and enough is enough,” said Henderson.
The group is asking city council and police to come up with better plans for public safety.
“This mayor when she was brought in and voted in, her main thing was to clean up Myrtle Beach and bring it back to the way it was. Well, I don’t see it happening,” said Henderson.
On Wednesday City Councilman John Krajc was walking the boulevard to observe for himself.
Krajc says Henderson’s concerns are valid, but his facts are wrong.
“Violent crime is down in Myrtle Beach. Yes, we did have this incident. Yes, it was unfortunate. Yes, there were several missteps that were by several members of the community, including the City of Myrtle Beach that led to this past weekend. But we are working to make downtown better,” said Krajc.
Data shows that violent crimes in the city have declined by 10% consecutively over the last two years.
Henderson says it’s not just crime that creates a bad image.
He says vacant buildings are an eye sore.
“They build and build and build and then everyone moves to the new place and the old just sits vacant,” said Henderson.
Krajc says updates and redevelopments are already happening.
“Breweries are coming and business is coming and tons of growth and progress happening in the City of Myrtle Beach. Anyone who would like to challenge that, come along. We’ll take a walk,” said Krajc.
Henderson says the city can recover from this, but under the right leadership.
“If you want your businesses to keep getting business, clean it up,” said Henderson.
News13 reached out to Mayor Brenda Buthune for a statement and she declined to comment.
We’ve also reached out to the Myrtle Beach Police Department for a statement and they did not return our calls.
On Thursday city council will meet to discuss safety plans for the holiday weekend.
Immediately following the meeting both the mayor and chief of police will hold a news conference.
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