PCB Police Department Gets Excited about Future Development

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Panama City Beach City Council members have approved a plan to give several city departments a little more room.
They have asked architects to design new buildings for the Beach Police and Public Works departments.
Each day the men and women of the Panama City Beach Police department cram into the only building they have ever called home, all 8,000 square feet of it.
"We should have a department about 18-20 thousand square feet,” said Chief Drew Whitman. “So we can house everything. Right now, I have to rent a place to store my property."
When the city incorporated in 1970, the police department moved into this building, which had been around since the 1950's.
There were only 11 officers on the force, now there are more than 70.
"I think it's going to boost everyone's morale. We've been waiting a long time for a new building,” said Cindy Sowell, the records secretary at the department. “I think it's going to be great for everyone."
The architects now have free reign to decide how the property should be used for both the Public Works building and the police department."
Their plan will then be submitted to the city council for approval.
The two buildings will cost a little more than $8 million.
The city is getting the money from impact fees and the police department's general fund.
"We believe if we build both at the same time, it will benefit the police department, the public works and the city will save money," said Whitman.
The entire project should take at least 20 months to complete, but only a year for actual construction, once the city breaks ground.


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