Panama City Beach police looking to hire more officers

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Beach officials say the city is under-staffed when it comes to law enforcement and are hoping to hire two to four more police officers by the end of the summer.

The money to pay the new officers would come from interest the city will save as they pay off a loan.

Beach councilman Hector Solis says the city's growth in the summer is putting some pressure on the hiring process.

"What happens is we grow from a small town of 13,000 to 150,000 in the summer. So it's difficult to have that balance. We're also very fortune we don't have an ad valorem tax here in Panama City Beach and so we make due with what we have and try to do the best we can and sometimes it's not as much as we'd like but i think we can slowly grow into what we need," Solis said.

Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman says grant programs could also be used to pay for the additional staff.