Isle of Palms Working to Boost Public Safety Measures  

Isle of Palms Working to Boost Public Safety Measures


Isle of Palms, S.C. – Groups of 50 or more gathering on Isle of Palms (IOP) public property, including beach and beach access paths, will now require a permit from the Police Department.  IOP City Council passed the ordinance in response to the shooting incident that occurred on Friday, April 7, 2023, near the IOP County Park, which left 5 people with non-life-threatening injuries. The permit requirement is designed to address public safety concerns and protect the environment and resources on the island. The complete ordinance is located on the city’s website.

After evaluating the resources needed to manage the crowds, IOP Police Department (IOPPD) is confident in its ability to enforce the ordinance.

“I’ve discussed the ordinance with my team. We talked through it, asked questions and we all feel comfortable with moving forward,” said IOP Police Chief Kevin Cornett. “Our goal is to educate. We don’t want to stop people from gathering altogether. We just want them to do so safely and to ensure we have the resources to defuse situations that are getting out of control.”

Groups gathered unlawfully will initially be asked to disperse but violators could face a misdemeanour charge with fines up to $500.

Permits will also help resolve other issues, such as litter left on the beach by large crowds. The permitting process would provide contact information for group or event organizers, making it easier to make arrangements for clean-up.

In addition to mitigating the risks associated with large crowds on the island, the city is making other public safety improvements by adding more equipment, such as a prisoner transport van, more security cameras and a new drone with landing pad at the Public Safety Building. City officials are also evaluating implementing a K-9 unit for IOPPD.

“We continue to strive towards making our community as safe as possible,” said IOP Mayor Phillip Pounds. “Isle of Palms is a family-friendly community that everyone should be able to enjoy. The team will continue to work swiftly to enhance our public safety measures.”

The next Public Safety meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. The public should visit for the latest updates. City Council meetings can be viewed on YouTube.