Myrtle Beach Police may buy gyrocopter for drug enforcement

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Myrtle Beach City Council meets Tuesday, and they will decide whether or not to approve the purchase of a new airborne device to assist the police department with drug enforcement.

The device is called a gyrocopter, and it is a smaller version of a helicopter. The Myrtle Beach Police Department said the gyrocopter will give them an extra set of eyes in the sky. This will assist officers with tasks like executing search warrants, monitoring if drugs are being grown in the area, and overall surveillance.

Lt. Joey Crosby says this is a great resource in improving safety for the community.

“This will be beneficial for us in things such as search and rescues, and if we have someone who flees from an officer, this will help identify where the person ran,” explains Lt. Crosby.

The money to pay for the gyrocopter comes from money the department seized during drug busts. With equipment and training, the cost for this project is about $207,000. The expected operational cost is about $12,500 per year.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department already has two pilots to operate the gyrocopter, so additional money isn’t needed to increase the staff size. City council meets Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. to discuss whether or not to approve the purchase. If approved, it is not yet clear when the gyrocopter will be in action.

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