Former Police Chief Drew Whitman takes on the role of PCB City Manager

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 9:33 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Thursday’s Panama City Beach City Council meeting was full of changes, starting off with former Police Chief Drew Whitman assuming his new role as city manager.

Interim City Manager Al Shortt has retired, but not before showing Whitman the ins and outs of the job. Whitman said he spent the last eight weeks training under Shortt, and feels confident stepping into the role. Whitman said his heart belongs to the city and wants the community to know his door is always open.

“I’m here to help them, to try to solve their problems or tell them why we can’t do certain things certain ways. And just to build on relationships. Make sure the men and women that are working for the city, the ones digging the trenches and working the streets at night, they know they’re taken care of and that someone’s going to have their back and listen to them,” Whitman said.

Finance Director Holly White will work alongside Whitman as assistant to the city manager.

Whitman also appointed long-time partner and friend Deputy Chief Chad Lindsey to temporarily take the role of police chief. After working with Lindsey for more than 30 years, Whitman said he’s more than confident putting the department in his hands until they find someone to take the job long-term.

“I’ve got a great support staff with the chief. And I’ll always refer to Drew as the chief. So the chief and I have always have a succession planned. Things are just moving along quicker than normal. But it’ll be an easy transition for everyone,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey said he’s honored to be chief for a short time. Officials said they’re looking for someone to take the permanent role as police chief.

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