Panama City Beach City Council Members Give Police More Options

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Panama City Beach- Wade Boan enjoys taking his dog to the beach, but sometime his dogs strays from the pets allowed side of the pier to the pets prohibited side.

"What's the difference from that side to this side. Same sand," said Wade Boan, Holmes County Resident.

Panama City Beach officials say there is a difference,and want to give police another option to enforce the law.

City council members are proposing changes to chapter 7, titled beach services ordinance.

Currently, police could either warn those violating beach related ordinances or arrest them.

Under the changes, officers would can now warn violators. If they don't comply, then officers can ticket them.

"If you don't argue the citation, it's a $50.00 citation. If you want to argue the citation, then it goes to $100.00. If it's a repeat citation, it continues to build," said Mario Gisbert, Panama City Beach City Manager.

The changes don't just apply to the dog ordinance. It also regulates the ban on glass on the beach and other recreational areas.

"A lot of the hospital and emergency calls that we get oddly enough are from broken glass on the beach," said Gisbert.

And the practice of digging holes with metal shovels, or digging holes deeper than 2-feet in the sand, is a popular practice with spring breakers.

"I think it will be much much better for the beach in general. For the beach in general, for the visitors there, for those of us who love to walk on the beach. It's going to be cleaner, we're going to have more order. Our police officers and code enforcement people will be more effective," said Gayle Oberst, Panama City Beach Mayor.

Council members are scheduled to vote on the changes at their first meeting in July.