Police celebrated at Pier Park

“Don’t let the negativity get to you”, officer says
Pier Park held a luncheon for the PCB police department.
Pier Park held a luncheon for the PCB police department.(WJHG)
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 7:00 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It’s a job that comes with risks, but they are hard at work every day.

“They have a tough job,” Pier Park General Manager Chris Tilley said. “You know, they do it every day and they love the community and protect us.”

Tilley said the event is a corporate initiative, from Simon Property Group, challenging all national mall teams to do something special for their local police.

Pier Park took the challenge and ran with it.

Paula Deen’s old restaurant held a luncheon for police, with free food like lobster bisque and ice cream.

But it wasn’t just about free food and celebratory balloons.

“More than anything is just the respect for the men and women, they go out there every day and they do the tough stuff,” he said. “They do a great job with it, and I’m just glad that we have those guys and girls in our community.”

NewsChannel 7 sat down with a few of the officers as they enjoyed their lunch and asked them how this kind gesture from the community made them feel like protectors of our community.

“It’s very heartwarming to know that the community actually likes to show this appreciation for us and with the world today, it’s nice to know that the police officers are still loved and cared for by their communities,” said PCB Officer, Robert Johnson.

And for the tough days, officers feel unappreciated. Here’s his advice:

“Don’t let the negativity get to you that you see in the media, and the people that don’t like law enforcement, you know, because just like with this, there are people that care about us and hope that we do get to go home to our families at the end of the days,” he said.

Beach Police Chief J. R. Talamantez told NewsChannel 7 they’re fully staffed but are always looking to hire if you want to join the force.