PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Spring Break season is drawing in large crowds and Panama City Beach Police are doing all they can to keep locals and visitors safe.
“This isn’t our first rodeo, Spring Break has been a part of Panama City Beach culture for a very long long time,” Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez said.
Panama City Beach police officers have been busy with people breaking the law and the local Spring Break ordinances.
“We’ve made 202 arrests, those are adults for a wide variety of crimes, everything from city ordinance, spring break violations to narcotic arrests, to disorderly conduct,” Talamantez said.
Based on preliminary numbers, Talamantez said 30 of those arrests are for underage drinking.
“The officer has the discretion to proceed in the manner in which they feel would best benefit the city so if they feel that somebody needs to go to jail, that’s exactly where they’ll go or they’ll come here to the police department, and sit in our drunk tank until they sober up and figure out that they made a mistake,” Talamantez said.
On March 3rd, the department welcomed six new K9’s to the team.
“They’re out there trying to do drug interdiction as we speak, they are a great asset to the police department,” Talamantez stated.
A handful of colleges along with Bay District Schools will be on break this week.
“We will have more officers out here this weekend,” Talamantez said. “They will be given strategic missions. They will be given strategic assignments to try to curve behavior. Do not come out here and think you’re going to act a fool.”
Talamantez affirmed they are prepared, but not paranoid about the remainder of the Spring Break season.
There is no alcohol allowed on the sandy beach during the month of March and the beach west of Boardwalk Resort to Churchwell Drive will be closed from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m.