First responders work the holidays to ensure community's safety

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Christmas is a time for family, a time for giving, and a time for tradition. But many people had to wait to celebrate until their work day ended.

While children unwrapped presents from Santa and parents sipped their holiday coffee, Corporal Kevin Burns put on his uniform and went to work.

"Criminals will break the law on Christmas or any other day of the year," said Burns. "It doesn't really make a difference. Arrests need to be made. So it's not different in the aspect of people breaking the law it's just tough telling people they're going to jail on Christmas."

The roads are quieter than normal and dark stores line the streets, but Burns still has work to do.

"We try to patrol the neighborhoods as much as we can for the holiday season," said Burns. "There's presents in the home, gift cards, there might be extra money laying around, more cash in the home."

For Burns, like many other first responders, working on a holiday is nothing new.

"I guess I'm kinda used to it personally. I've spent 13 years in the military so Christmas or Thanksgiving, missing one is not a huge deal."

Burns says having a family who understands his mission to serve the community, means everything.

"Family is a big thing too I mean they understand what's going on they support you they know you have to work Christmas or a holiday and you know you just have to open up presents when you get home off a shift and spend time with the family after that. It's a good feeling knowing that your family supports you out working on a holiday and keeping the city safe."

First responders were not the only ones working this holiday. Many others in countless different jobs headed to work as well. Merry Christmas to you all, and thank you for your service to our community.