Beach Safety Money Could Be Spent on Promotions

Safety on Bay County's beaches could be in jeopardy after a decision Tuesday.

The Tourist Development Council voted to stop its portion of the funding for the Beach and Surf Patrol. Those are the people you see in the SUVs and four-wheelers on the beach hanging the flags and warning people to stay out of the water when red flags are flying.

Beach and Surf Patrol is funded jointly by Bay County, Panama City Beach and the TDC, each pitching in $66,000, but starting the end of the summer season a third of that money is gone.

TDC Executive Director Bob Warren told NewsChannel Seven he felt the money could be better spent on promotions.

Beach officials say the Beach and Surf Patrol is already short staffed for the spring break and summer seasons, and with an uncertain future, they aren't hiring anyone else.