ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – The Isle of Palms (IOP) City Council sent a letter to the Mount Pleasant Town Council on Thursday, to address the ongoing dispute regarding limited access to the island.
Earlier Thursday, Mount Pleasant Town Council member Jake Rambo took to Twitter to voice his disapproval of IOP and Sullivan’s Island restricting access, and announced that the Mount Pleasant Town Council is considering sending a resolution urging the island communities to end the checkpoints.
In the letter, IOP officials asked their Mount Pleasant counterparts to “read our minutes or watch our meetings to understand the rationale behind our decision to implement our safety measures.” Safety measures which, according to IOP City Council, have been guided and supported by medical and public health experts.
The officials cite the safety of first responders as a major concern, and impetus for restricting access to the island. The letter states that the IOP Police Department “typically responds to 3,000-4,000 calls during the spring months when beach activity heats up. By controlling access, the number of calls and related exposure for our first responders has been significantly reduced, and police face less public interaction on the beaches related to crowd control than they would if we removed the checkpoints entirely.”
The city also made the point that “controlling crowding on the beach protects neighboring communities from the spread of the disease as much as it protects our own community. A gathering of friends congregating at the beach before our officers can disperse them could include residents” from multiple nearby areas.
In this time of duress, IOP officials said that everyone should “encourage and help one another, support our front-line workers, and make some sacrifices for the greater good.” They concluded by saying that they would not “disregard the medical evidence and put our residence, staff, and any beachgoer, regardless of where they call home, at risk.”
Click here to read the full text.