Police Prepare to Crack Down on Spring Break Drug and Alcohol Violations

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PANAMA CITY BEACH-- In just a few weeks, spring breakers will begin to replace the snowbirds in Bay County.

And while local businesses may reap the economic benefits of spring break, police are gearing up to crack down on crime.

Some officers expect higher spring breaker numbers to bring a rise in drugs to the area.

"It seems like spring break gets busier and busier every year," Officer Jacob Moore, with the Panama City Beach Police Department, said. "And with more people coming in, the more stuff we deal with."

Police say they see a rise in drug sales and use during the spring months.

"We do see mostly marijuana and sometimes some of the other party drugs," Moore said.

Last March, law enforcement seized three kilos of molly in just the first two weeks of spring break.

"Molly is basically a pure form of MDMA, which is the main component of ecstasy," Moore said. "It tends to make people able to have more energy. It's just very dangerous. It's definitely one of our top priorities."

And its presence in Bay County year-round Is picking up.

"I wouldn't say a spike, but we have seen an increase in the detection and enforcement, especially of molly," Moore said.

Law enforcement are working to adapt with the changing spring break season by staying one step ahead.

"Trying to stay up to speed on the new drugs and things of that nature that are going to cause us issues," Moore said. "As long as we can train and try to stay ahead of the power curve, we'll be ready and able to handle anything that comes our way."

Police say they'll continue to enforce their zero tolerance policy for drug and alcohol violations. For Officer Moore, safety is the priority.

"Our policy is to get as many types of narcotics that we have off the streets as best we can to prevent type of major safety concerns or safety issues for those that are down here on spring break," he said.

Last year, Bay County law enforcement received more than 9,600 incident calls and made more than 1,200 arrests during spring break.