Atlantic Beach steps up police protection

Atlantic Beach Town Council decided to enter into a mutual aid agreement with the town of Andrews at a special meeting called Wednesday.

This will mean the town can temporarily request officers from the Andrews Police Department for emergency and non-emergency situations.

At this time, the town is still working out the logistics, including how many officers they can request and for what types of situations, according to Town Manager William Booker.

We asked why Atlantic Beach would enter a mutual aid agreement with an agency that's almost 70 miles away. Booker said it stems from the hiring of new Interim Police Chief Timothy Taylor. Taylor is a former lieutenant with Andrews police.

Booker also said the department has hired a part-time police officer, who hasn't started on the force yet.

The additional staff means Atlantic Beach will now have four officers serving the community. Booker says they only had two officers prior to the recent hires.

Atlantic Beach will still maintain its existing mutual aid agreement with Horry County police.

Horry County recently came to help the town when there was a shooting last week. Atlantic Beach officers did not respond to that emergency, and we asked Booker why that happened.

"We don't work traditional shifts like most police departments work. We have some officers who work days, some officers who work just primarily weekends, some work nights. We don't have the traditional 12-hour shift," Booker said.

Interim Chief Taylor said his goal is to serve the community to the best of his ability.

"I want to come in and gain the trust of the public in this town here and reassure them the police department is here for them," said Chief Taylor.

Taylor also has set his sights on adjusting when police officer will be on duty to give the town more police protection.