Police and tacos: Myrtle Beach wants food trucks to be extra eyes for officers

Food truck vendors in Myrtle Beach will soon have more on their plates than simply making a delicious meal.

Myrtle Beach officials passed a motion on Tuesday allowing food trucks to conduct business in five public parks as long as they clean the park and provide surveillance services for the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

The city’s pilot program, which aims to keep the parks cleaner and safer, will authorize vendors with food truck permits to sell food and drinks in Futrell Park, Bathsheba Bowens Memorial Park, Savannah’s Playground, Wither’s Swash Park and Myrtle’s Market.

Each vendor will be responsible for their own trash, picking up after customers and scanning the park prior to setting up and breaking down daily operations to identify any unresolved maintenance issues that require special attention from the city. Vendors, who will also display a large sign indicating they are providing surveillance on behalf of the police department, will also notify police of illegal, dangerous or suspicious behavior.

City Spokesperson Mark Kruea said placing food trucks in underutilized parks will encourage more activity in the parks while also providing an extra set of eyes and ears if something is out of the ordinary.

“Some of these parks aren’t very busy, but they are great spaces,” Kruea said. “Having more activity in the parks will enliven not only the parks themselves, but the neighborhoods they serve.”

Trojan Cow, LLC will coordinate a rotating schedule of vendors in each park from March to October from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a minimum of two days per week. Neither Trojan Cow or the vendors will be compensated for their services.

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Anna Young is the Coastal Cities reporter for The Sun News covering anything and everything that happens locally. Young, an award-winning journalist who got her start reporting local news in New York, is dedicated to upholding the values of journalism by listening, learning, seeking out the truth and reporting it accurately. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from SUNY Purchase College.