Mayor gives keynote address
Mayor Marilyn Hatley had the “honor and privilege,” she stated, of welcoming on Tuesday, July 11, at the Beach Cove Resort, in North Myrtle Beach, the 66th Southern Police Institute “SPI” Alumni Association Training Conference. “Members of this prestigious major national organization share the common goal to ensure that policing and leadership skills are of the highest caliber.”
Recently retired Chief of Police Phil Webster is the current SPI president. Public Safety Director Jay Fernandez is a graduate of SPI, and North Myrtle Beach will send another officer to SPI this year.
Hatley said she is proud of these local public safety leaders and that she was invited to give an important talk to SPI members from all around the country about the successful focus on community policing in the city.
The North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department is recognized for valuing the relentless pursuit of excellence in all we do and seeks to function as a team to provide innovative, effective and efficient service to improve the quality of life for all people, according to Hatley, who went on to detail community policing in her keynote remarks.
Mayor Hatley spoke to the Southern Police Institute Alumni Association on Tuesday.
“Welcome to the city of North Myrtle Beach!
“Thank you for having chosen our city for your annual conference. I hope that in between your meetings you cantake some time to explore our many offerings.
“The Southern Police Institute (SPI) is recognized as one of the top law enforcement eduational and training schools in the nation. Your role in enhancing the professional development of law enforcement personnel is important to us.
“When working for another entity, our public safety director, Jay Fernandez, who oversees all of our police and fire personnel, graduated from SPI. He believes in SPI and is resposible for our public safety department’s involvement in it.
“Phil Webster, your current president and our recently retired chief of police, is the city’s first SPI graduate. We wll be sending another officer this year.
“While I have him here, I want to thank Phil again for having served our city with distinction for 25 years. We appreciate you and your family.
“Year-round, North Myrtle Beach is a city of about 15,000 residents, but on any given day from June through Labor Day, vacationers expand our population to about 100,000. So, how do we police with that huge population increase each year?
“We beleve in and practice what some call community policing, others call 21st century policing, and what I like to call “common sense policing”, stated Hatley.
“Our officers are expected to be much more than an anonymous presence with a badge, passing through neighborhoods or other areas of the city in a police car. They are expected to be more than just an inanimate object standing on a street corner without making any effort to interact with the public.
“Our officers are taught to be personable, to reach out and interact with residents and visitors so they can help prevent crime and develop trust and respect for their mission in the community”, she said.
“I do go to sleep at night very confident that our officers will protect our residents, visitors ad businesses.
“Again, thank you for choosing North Myrtle Beach for your annual training session,” she concluded.