FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - Every Folly Beach police officer is scheduled to work Memorial Day weekend as the city prepares for an influx of beachgoers, and now some other agencies are stepping in to help.
Charleston County Sheriff’s Office deputies will be helping with traffic control and assisting with calls, according to Captain Roger Antonio.
“We are providing the detention center transport van with detention deputies to Folly,” Antonio said. “We don’t enforce town ordinances."
He added deputies will also be stationed on Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, and Seabrook Island.
Folly Beach Police Chief Andrew Gilreath said the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the state’s Department of Natural Resources will also be coming to help with enforcement.
“We’re a small department," Gilreath said. "It’s great to see the assistance from the outside state-level agencies, because quite honestly it’s just more people on the ground, more boots on the sand, and more people helping our citizens stay safe and our visitors stay safe.”
Gilreath said his officers’ main focus will remain on enforcing local ordinances like no alcohol or glass on the beach and no dogs after 10 a.m. A violation fine can range from $100 to more than $1,000.
“Normally, we just have to worry about what we have going on locally, local ordinances, and state laws. Now, we’re adding the tinge of the actual behavior, the pandemic behavior they’re urging us not to do with the social distancing, no large groups, and things of that nature," Gilreath said. “One of the things we’ve seen thus far that’s been sad to see is that folks don’t head or don’t follow those warnings, and I think that’s just unfortunate.”
The beach fully reopened to the public last Friday, and now the police chief has a message to those coming this weekend.
“Come with smaller groups, spread yourselves out, and be safe, not just for yourself but for everyone out here as well," he said. "I don’t want anyone to have a bad Memorial Day and end up with a ticket.”