Panama City Beach Police Looking to Upgrade

The current police building was constructed in the 1950s and has had multiple changes as the city responds to the growth of Panama City Beach.

When asked what some of the problems are that law enforcement face due to a lack of space, officer Shaun Maguadog said that it causes a shift in priorities. "What needs to be done first, what needs to be taken care of, and what can be put on the back burner for 5, 10, 15 minutes."

And that's just one of the many issues law enforcement officers face at the Panama City Beach Police Department.

While they currently have 55 sworn officers, the largest room in their facility can only hold 35.

"As the community grows, the need grows for more law enforcement and then we outgrow our facilities, so we add on and then it works. Then we grow some more, add on, and that works," said Maguadog. "Now we've gotten to where we've added on like 4 times and it's just time for a new building."

Limited space has caused things to be a bit cramped with 11 to 12 people each using 1 of only 3 offices throughout the day.

While everyone is excited at the prospect of a new building, Chief Drew Whitman wants to be sure the new facilities are built to last.

"We don't want to rush a project and get something that's not going to withstand the next 50 to 100 years growth because I want to make sure that we build something that when I leave, the new chief and the new officers have something to grow into."

According to Whitman, the new building should be constructed in the next few years.


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