Officials Manage Holiday Crowd Control

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PANAMA CITY BEACH-- Police on Panama City Beach dealt with big crowds this holiday weekend.

Both visitors and officials say they feel the beach was safe this Fourth of July.

With beaches packed thousands of cars filled the streets this weekend. Regardless of the large crowds visitors felt safe while out celebrating the holiday.

"It was very safe i didn't have any doubts that something was going to happen, I was watching my kids paying attention to other kids," visitor Ricky Collins said.

The main issue officers faced was crowd control.

"Crowds were good. It was more of an issue of everyone trying to get into the parking lot everyone, everyone trying to find that one parking spot," Sgt. Kathi Ashman of Bay County Sheriff's Office said.

Even tourists agree getting to the beach was the toughest challenge.

"If you're trying to come from P.C. you might wanna come at 2 o'clock at night because you're not going to get here quick," visitor Tynarius Facion said.

But once on the beach these growing crowds posed an even bigger concern.

"I think it's important for parents to realize because of the large crowd especially this weekend yesterday everyone at the beach. Kids can easily get lost in a crowd and just setting up some boundaries for them as far a distance they go from you," Sgt. Ashma said.

While watching the fireworks parents made sure to keep an eye on watching their kids too.

"Even though my kids are older I'm still watching them and making sure they were having a good time," Collins said.

Sheriff's deputies say its important to keep a mindful eye on children and still have fun out on the beach with heavy crowds.