Officials prepare for busy spring break weekend
BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Local agencies team up in an effort to combat any potential spring break chaos ahead of the busy spring break weekend.
As spring breakers make their way to Panama City Beach law enforcement officials are bracing for what is to come and they have several protocols in place. Bay County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Tommy Ford several agencies will be on alert for the next couple of weeks.
“We have a great relationship with Panama City, Panama City Beach, Lynn Haven, Parker, and Springfield,” he said.
In addition, to a number of Panama City Beach rules that are already in place for the entire month of March, officials are increasing staff and are utilizing the Bay Real Time Operation Center which gives intel to agencies.
“We’ve got analysts that are monitoring our technological resources such as our camera systems, beach camera’s things like that,” the Sheriff said. “As well as our computerized dispatch and radios for the different agencies so that if there is a situation Bay Real Time Operation Center may be able to get it on the camera before it’s reported.”
Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez says since the beginning of march nearly 300 arrests have been made so far, some of which are a result of drinking and disorderly conduct.
“March, we have enacted several ordinances. Probably the most one every day hears is no alcohol on the beach. That specifically is designed to one limit the amount of what I like to call power drinking going on,” said Talamantez. “People tend to make very bad decisions when they’re intoxicated.
With all the measures in place business owners like Jim Bradley of Shipwreck LTD say they feel much safer this spring break.
“We’ve suffered greatly,” said Bradley. “I think it’s going to be much more controlled and much better. It’s a unified position they are all taking and all working together, and they know it’s very important for the image of Panama City Beach.
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