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Electric Guard Dog is among best places to work in South Carolina

Electric security fence provider Electric Guard Dog, Columbia, South Carolina, has announced it will make a third appearance the list of Best Places to Work in South Carolina. This 12th annual list is created by SC Biz News in partnership with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group.
[1][2][3][4][5]

Companies from across the state entered the two-part survey process, including an employee survey to measure the employee experience. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process, analyzed the data and determined the final rankings.

Electric Guard Dog Chief Financial Officer Nathan Leaphart says, “We’ve got a phenomenal staff, we are tremendously proud of them and grateful to them for this award. We work hard to ensure a ‘pay it forward’ company culture where everyone is respected, acknowledged and promoted whenever possible. Our employees in turn pay that forward to our customers, providing the best customer and technical service in the industry. We owe this award to them, and thank them.”

In the last year, Electric Guard Dog has received a number of honors, including Dealer of the Year for the security industry and two American Business Awards a Gold Maverick of the Year for CEO Jack DeMao and a Bronze Company of the Year in Business Services. The company also was awarded an Open Company designation by Glassdoor for their efforts to reach out to employees and recruits alike.

The ranked companies will be recognized at a reception and dinner, presented by Colonial Life, Aug. 3, 2017, and the rankings will be published in the August 2017 issue of SCBIZ magazine.

References

  1. ^ Electric Guard Dog (www.electricguarddog.com)
  2. ^ Best Places to Work in South Carolina (www.BestPlacesToWorkSC.com)
  3. ^ SC Biz News (scbiznews.com)
  4. ^ South Carolina Chamber of Commerce (www.scchamber.net)
  5. ^ Best Companies Group (www.bestcompaniesgroup.com)

After shooting video goes viral, Myrtle Beach struggles with crowd …

MYRTLE BEACH On a recent weekday, when relentless rain sent bathing suit-clad tourists scrambling to their hotel rooms, some visitors to this seaside city found refuge ducking into businesses on the Boardwalk. Brande Graham welcomed vacationers who strolled into Old Timey Photo to get their portraits taken, dressed as saloon girls and mobsters on this dreary Tuesday afternoon. By dark, Graham, the manager, expected the tourists to be long gone. That was the case on previous nights that followed a burst of gunfire that injured seven people, including the suspect, over the past weekend on Ocean Boulevard. The shooting captured national attention after it was streamed on Facebook Live.

“We ve had a lot less sales, a lot less people. And after dark, everyone s leaving early. It s not doing too good. Usually after dark is when we get a lot of our sales,” Graham said. By now, over 4 million people have viewed the video that police said shows a 17-year-old from North Carolina with gang affiliations firing into a crowd of people during a street fight in the city’s popular tourist district. Police said a security guard returned fire. Three bullets stuck a police cruiser.

That was one of five shootings police responded to in three days. The rash of violence followed six shootings in five days around Easter weekend. It didn’t take long for memes to surface on the internet with sayings like, “Greetings from Murder Beach” and “Come here to see the beach, stay because you got murdered.”

“We re gonna have to do a good job of making sure the people understand the consequences of coming to Myrtle Beach and acting the way that folks acted last week,” City Manager John Pedersen said Tuesday during a special City Council meeting addressing the violence. “People have to understand if they come here, they re gonna get caught and they re gonna go to jail and their lives are gonna change.”

The Myrtle Beach area, which saw nearly 18 million visitors last summer, isn’t alone in this struggle as officials work to get a handle on crime while polishing its image as a vacation destination for families. Charleston, Walterboro and other coastal cities that swell with tourists have grappled with similar issues.

“It happens everywhere. In some places, it blows up. YouTube videos don t help in that matter,” said John Crotts, a professor of hospitality and tourism management at the College of Charleston. We as tourism destinations have to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly.”

‘More boots on the ground’

Crotts did research at the University of Florida in the early 1990s when the Sunshine State saw a wave of highly publicized tourist slayings. Officials there scrambled for damage control as tabloids labeled the state “deathtrap under the palms.”

In times like these, Crotts said the public wants to see city leaders treat crime as more than a public relations problem that can be swept under the rug. He applauded the Myrtle Beach Police Department and city leaders for addressing the recent violence and working toward change. The city is taking some steps it has relied on in the past, such as adding barricades to major sidewalks to prevent pedestrians from congregating in the road. Lighting will be increased. Pedersen suggested reevaluating the city’s 1 a.m. curfew.

The State Law Enforcement Division has stepped in[1] to deploy “more boots on the ground,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. He pledged the state will take “whatever means necessary” to maintain Myrtle Beach’s reputation as a family-friendly destination. Forty-six officers, which is triple the normal number before the violence around Easter, were assigned to the waterfront during last Sunday’s shooting that went viral. They were on foot, on bikes and in cruisers. Some officers were helping out from other jurisdictions.

“My officers have been working for the last six weekends with not a lot of sleep. They ve been busting their tail and they re gonna continue to do it because they care about you,” interim Police Chief Amy Prock said, addressing an audience of local residents at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Warning: Video contains graphic images

[embedded content]

Fighting a bad reputation

Panama City Beach, Florida, had long been an epicenter for spring breakers when everything came “crashing in” in 2015, said Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford. The waterfront city fielded negative publicity after a spring break season that included a gang rape on the beach witnessed by hundreds of people who didn’t intervene, and a house party shooting that injured seven people. With the area’s reputation on the line, officials banned beach drinking during spring break. Law enforcement adopted a zero tolerance approach to enforcing the ordinance. Ford said the move “totally changed the atmosphere” of spring break, helping to tone down the image as a hotspot for booze-fueled partying.

“We ve seen a return of families to the beaches,” Ford said. “Before, what was very sad to me during the time that spring break was so bad was we live in the community, we raise our kids in this community and most people were afraid to take their kids out to their own beaches during March.”

Still, the area isn’t crime-free, Ford said. There were several shootings over this past spring break.

“It s not the panacea. We still do a have a certain smaller criminal element that comes here,” he said.

+3 After Shooting Video Goes Viral, Myrtle Beach Struggles With Crowd ...

Families cross Ocean Boulevard headed towards the shore at 9th Avenue in Myrtle Beach on Wednesday June 22, 2017. Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

By Grace Beahm Alford [email protected]

For years, Walterboro and surrounding Colleton County has worked to fight a reputation as a hotbed of crime and gang activity. State agents swooped in after the violence came to a head in 2009 when two adults and a baby were killed in a drive-by shooting. In the past week, Colleton County again saw a rash of drive-by shootings[2]. Several years ago, Walterboro area residents and business owners said they were fed up that violence cast an unfair and misleading shadow on the small town that bills itself as the “front porch of the Lowcountry.” There was no denying the area’s problems, but people were overlooking the good things, they said. Barnwell Fishburne was part of the Colleton Business Alliance when it made efforts to unify the community and improve Walterboro’s reputation in 2013. Their message was that the status quo wasn’t acceptable, and Fishburne said “things changed for the better.”

“Unfortunately, it has become apparent that many municipalities are facing similar challenges, and public involvement is essential,” he said in an email.

Policing an entertainment district

The Responsible Hospitality Institute, a nonprofit based in California that helps cities plan and manage hospitality zones, holds the Charleston Police Department up as a model of successful nighttime management. President Jim Peters said Charleston gets it right when it comes to a coordinated approach among police and the hospitality industry.

“It s like an ecosystem and all the pieces have to come together. And if one fails, the whole system fails,” he said. In 2013, Charleston City Council passed an ordinance[3] requiring bar operators to hire private security to help curb rowdiness. The effort came as police saw a pattern of sometimes unruly behavior in the downtown bar district around the City Market and on Upper King Street, which draws a mix of locals, college students and visitors. At the time, former Mayor Joe Riley said the ordinance was necessary to protect Charleston’s “brand” as a nationally recognized tourism destination. The city’s bar district sees roughly 7,000 people on weekend nights. The 16 officers assigned to the area must have a good relationship with patrons, bar employees and taxi drivers, said Lt. Heath King, the unit’s commander.

“People see the officers engage with these folks in line and they remember when they go in there s a lot of cops out here,” King said. “We prevent, I think, more (disorderly behavior) than most would because our folks are so engaged with the people that are out there.”

References

  1. ^ State Law Enforcement Division has stepped in (www.postandcourier.com)
  2. ^ drive-by shootings (www.postandcourier.com)
  3. ^ passed an ordinance (www.postandcourier.com)

After shooting video goes viral, Myrtle Beach struggles with crowd, violence issues familiar to other coastal cities

MYRTLE BEACH On a recent weekday, when relentless rain sent bathing suit-clad tourists scrambling to their hotel rooms, some visitors to this seaside city found refuge ducking into businesses on the Boardwalk. Brande Graham welcomed vacationers who strolled into Old Timey Photo to get their portraits taken, dressed as saloon girls and mobsters on this dreary Tuesday afternoon. By dark, Graham, the manager, expected the tourists to be long gone. That was the case on previous nights that followed a burst of gunfire that injured seven people, including the suspect, over the past weekend on Ocean Boulevard. The shooting captured national attention after it was streamed on Facebook Live.

“We ve had a lot less sales, a lot less people. And after dark, everyone s leaving early. It s not doing too good. Usually after dark is when we get a lot of our sales,” Graham said. By now, over 4 million people have viewed the video that police said shows a 17-year-old from North Carolina with gang affiliations firing into a crowd of people during a street fight in the city’s popular tourist district. Police said a security guard returned fire. Three bullets stuck a police cruiser.

That was one of five shootings police responded to in three days. The rash of violence followed six shootings in five days around Easter weekend. It didn’t take long for memes to surface on the internet with sayings like, “Greetings from Murder Beach” and “Come here to see the beach, stay because you got murdered.”

“We re gonna have to do a good job of making sure the people understand the consequences of coming to Myrtle Beach and acting the way that folks acted last week,” City Manager John Pedersen said Tuesday during a special City Council meeting addressing the violence. “People have to understand if they come here, they re gonna get caught and they re gonna go to jail and their lives are gonna change.”

The Myrtle Beach area, which saw nearly 18 million visitors last summer, isn’t alone in this struggle as officials work to get a handle on crime while polishing its image as a vacation destination for families. Charleston, Walterboro and other coastal cities that swell with tourists have grappled with similar issues.

“It happens everywhere. In some places, it blows up. YouTube videos don t help in that matter,” said John Crotts, a professor of hospitality and tourism management at the College of Charleston. We as tourism destinations have to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly.”

‘More boots on the ground’

Crotts did research at the University of Florida in the early 1990s when the Sunshine State saw a wave of highly publicized tourist slayings. Officials there scrambled for damage control as tabloids labeled the state “deathtrap under the palms.”

In times like these, Crotts said the public wants to see city leaders treat crime as more than a public relations problem that can be swept under the rug. He applauded the Myrtle Beach Police Department and city leaders for addressing the recent violence and working toward change. The city is taking some steps it has relied on in the past, such as adding barricades to major sidewalks to prevent pedestrians from congregating in the road. Lighting will be increased. Pedersen suggested reevaluating the city’s 1 a.m. curfew.

The State Law Enforcement Division has stepped in[1] to deploy “more boots on the ground,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. He pledged the state will take “whatever means necessary” to maintain Myrtle Beach’s reputation as a family-friendly destination. Forty-six officers, which is triple the normal number before the violence around Easter, were assigned to the waterfront during last Sunday’s shooting that went viral. They were on foot, on bikes and in cruisers. Some officers were helping out from other jurisdictions.

“My officers have been working for the last six weekends with not a lot of sleep. They ve been busting their tail and they re gonna continue to do it because they care about you,” interim Police Chief Amy Prock said, addressing an audience of local residents at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Warning: Video contains graphic images

[embedded content]

Fighting a bad reputation

Panama City Beach, Florida, had long been an epicenter for spring breakers when everything came “crashing in” in 2015, said Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford. The waterfront city fielded negative publicity after a spring break season that included a gang rape on the beach witnessed by hundreds of people who didn’t intervene, and a house party shooting that injured seven people. With the area’s reputation on the line, officials banned beach drinking during spring break. Law enforcement adopted a zero tolerance approach to enforcing the ordinance. Ford said the move “totally changed the atmosphere” of spring break, helping to tone down the image as a hotspot for booze-fueled partying.

“We ve seen a return of families to the beaches,” Ford said. “Before, what was very sad to me during the time that spring break was so bad was we live in the community, we raise our kids in this community and most people were afraid to take their kids out to their own beaches during March.”

Still, the area isn’t crime-free, Ford said. There were several shootings over this past spring break.

“It s not the panacea. We still do a have a certain smaller criminal element that comes here,” he said.

+3 After Shooting Video Goes Viral, Myrtle Beach Struggles With Crowd, Violence Issues Familiar To Other Coastal Cities

Families cross Ocean Boulevard headed towards the shore at 9th Avenue in Myrtle Beach on Wednesday June 22, 2017. Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

By Grace Beahm Alford [email protected]

For years, Walterboro and surrounding Colleton County has worked to fight a reputation as a hotbed of crime and gang activity. State agents swooped in after the violence came to a head in 2009 when two adults and a baby were killed in a drive-by shooting. In the past week, Colleton County again saw a rash of drive-by shootings[2]. Several years ago, Walterboro area residents and business owners said they were fed up that violence cast an unfair and misleading shadow on the small town that bills itself as the “front porch of the Lowcountry.” There was no denying the area’s problems, but people were overlooking the good things, they said. Barnwell Fishburne was part of the Colleton Business Alliance when it made efforts to unify the community and improve Walterboro’s reputation in 2013. Their message was that the status quo wasn’t acceptable, and Fishburne said “things changed for the better.”

“Unfortunately, it has become apparent that many municipalities are facing similar challenges, and public involvement is essential,” he said in an email.

Policing an entertainment district

The Responsible Hospitality Institute, a nonprofit based in California that helps cities plan and manage hospitality zones, holds the Charleston Police Department up as a model of successful nighttime management. President Jim Peters said Charleston gets it right when it comes to a coordinated approach among police and the hospitality industry.

“It s like an ecosystem and all the pieces have to come together. And if one fails, the whole system fails,” he said. In 2013, Charleston City Council passed an ordinance[3] requiring bar operators to hire private security to help curb rowdiness. The effort came as police saw a pattern of sometimes unruly behavior in the downtown bar district around the City Market and on Upper King Street, which draws a mix of locals, college students and visitors. At the time, former Mayor Joe Riley said the ordinance was necessary to protect Charleston’s “brand” as a nationally recognized tourism destination. The city’s bar district sees roughly 7,000 people on weekend nights. The 16 officers assigned to the area must have a good relationship with patrons, bar employees and taxi drivers, said Lt. Heath King, the unit’s commander.

“People see the officers engage with these folks in line and they remember when they go in there s a lot of cops out here,” King said. “We prevent, I think, more (disorderly behavior) than most would because our folks are so engaged with the people that are out there.”

References

  1. ^ State Law Enforcement Division has stepped in (www.postandcourier.com)
  2. ^ drive-by shootings (www.postandcourier.com)
  3. ^ passed an ordinance (www.postandcourier.com)
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