Pawleys Island, South Carolina, is a town that enjoys a thriving summer community. It is a place that grows from 100 or so year round residents to over 5,000 visitors and residents during the summer season. Ensuring the safety and protection of the community are the dedicated members of the Pawleys Island Police Department. Although the Town’s motto is “arrogantly shabby“, the police department is proud of its professional law enforcement image.

The Pawleys Island Police Department was created in 1993 with a chief, two officers and one vehicle. Since then, the department has expanded to include a chief, three full time officers and three part time officers. Currently led by Chief Michael Fanning, the officers patrol the 3.8 mile barrier island, its beaches and surrounding waters with three 4×4 vehicles, an all-terrain vehicle and a personal watercraft. The department’s personnel have over 100 years of combined law enforcement experience between them. This experience is widely varied from command staff through investigations including previous assignments in Georgetown County, City of Myrtle Beach, City of Detroit, Maryland Department of Juvenile Services¬†and New York City.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Pawleys Island and please let us know if there is anything we can help you with.

Mission Statement
It is the mission of the Pawleys Island Police Department to preserve the public peace, prevent crime, detect and arrest violators of the law, and protect life and property. We will uphold the Constitution of these United States, enforce the laws of South Carolina and the ordinances of the Town of Pawleys Island.

Office Hours – Town Hall is open from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. The Police Department office is not staffed full time although there is always an officer on duty. In An Emergency Call 911, for all other inquiries call Town Hall (843-237-1698) for information. If you need to speak with an officer immediately call 843-237-3008 and the dispatcher will contact one.

Parking
– There is a limited amount of parking on the island so please plan your trip accordingly. Parking regulations are strictly enforced. Here is a list of public parking and beach accesses.
– Georgetown County Lot located at the south end of Springs Avenue.
– First Street Beach Access
– Second Street Beach Access
– Third Street Beach Access
– Shell Road Beach Access
– Hazard Street Beach Access
– Pritchard Street Beach Access
– Adjacent to the boat landings at Pritchard Street, Shell Road and Third Street

In addition to these parking locations, you may park your vehicle along the side of the road within five (5) feet of the edge of the pavement unless otherwise posted or restricted. NO VEHICLES MAY PARK ON THE PAVEMENT IN THE RIGHT OF WAY.

Town Court
– The Town’s court is held the second Thursday of every month at 5:00 PM at the Pawleys Island Magistrate’s Office, 291 Parkersville Road unless otherwise noted on the summons.

– Open fires are prohibited, however you may obtain a permit at town hall for a fire pit on the beach under following circumstances. No free-standing barbeques are allowed, charcoal fires only in a hole dug in the sand. Absolutely no open flames. Permit holder is responsible for any damages caused by the fire. No fire within 5 houses of a marked turtle nest.

Fireworks – Absolutely No Fireworks are permitted on the island.

Tents & Chairs – Please remove your tents, tent frames & beach chairs when you leave the beach for the day to deter vandalism. We also ask that you fill in large holes in the Sand. These items impeded the nesting process of sea turtles.

Surfing – Surfing is not restricted to a particular section except within 100 yards of the pier under SC Code 50-21-180. Surfing is also prohibited by law between sunset and sunrise(50-21-820). Surfers are also prohibited by law to engage in conduct that endangers others (50-21-840a)

Golf Carts – Golf carts are permitted on Pawleys Island under State Code of Laws 56-2-105. The following rules apply:
– Golf carts may be operated during daylight hours only
– Golf carts may only be operated within 2 miles of the address on the registration certificate
– Operator of the golf cart must be at least 16 years of age and hold a valid drivers license
– Operator must possess registration certificate from DMV & proof of liability insurance
– Golf cart should have registration permit decal visible

Crime Prevention
To ensure that Pawleys Island remains a very safe place, we would like to make it less inviting to thieves and criminals. We ask that you lock your vehicles at all times and do not leave any items of value in view. Please secure doors and windows of residences whenever possible. Store bikes, kayaks and other valuables in a safe place. Residents are encouraged to contact the police department for a security survey and to have your residence placed on a special watch list during the off season.

Safety Tips

Pedestrian Safety – While walking or jogging along the road please go against the flow of vehicular traffic and wear bright clothing after dusk. Rules for safe walking & jogging: click here

Bicycle SafetyWhile riding a bicycle on the road you must obey the same traffic regulations as automobiles. Please do not ride multiple bicycles abreast causing vehicles to cross the double yellow lines. The use of a bike helmet and reflective gear is recommended. Rules for safe riding: click here

Water SafetyOne of the most dangerous problems we encounter during the summer season are situations where people are not familiar with ocean swimming and find themselves caught in the rip currents. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with some safety guidelines for swimming in the ocean. Click Here