Panama City Police Department in need of more officers

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Panama City Police Department is looking to add more officers to its police force in order to better serve the city. It currently has more than ten police officer positions open. However, Police Chief Scott Ervin doesn't expect to fill them quickly.

"That kind of amount of officers to hire and train it will probably take close to a year," said Chief Ervin.

According to Chief Ervin, the department needs more officers because of the influx of people in Panama City and the call volume.

"We don't police just the residents we police an excess of a 100,000 people a day," said Chief Ervin.

He says the men and women applying for the open positions will need to complete 14 weeks of field training after graduating from police academy. Chief Ervin tells us not everyone applying has been qualified for the job.

"Sometimes on paper, they're qualified. When we get into the details, because they have to meet specific standards, we have to vet to make sure they meet all of those requirements. Things like they can't have a dishonorable discharge, they can't have drug use within a certain time period, so we have to vet all of that as part of that process," said Chief Ervin.

Chief Ervin says once the additional officers are hired he expects call response times to be cut down.

To apply for the open jobs at the police department fill out an application on their website and return it to the Panama City Police Department's main station at 1209 E. 15th Street in Panama City. The website to apply for the positions is attached to this article.