PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - The crowd in Panama City Beach for Spring Break in 2016 was one of the smallest the area had seen in more than a decade.
The reasons for that are likely new rules passed by the Panama City Beach City Council and the Bay County Commission in the wake of a shooting that injured multiple people.
On Wednesday, Panama City Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman issued a message for those who might come to town this year.
Whitman said in a tweet that the department will be "strictly enforcing" several city ordinances.
"We have a couple of groups that are sending false information out to college kids and other spring breakers that we did away with our ordinances," said Whitman. "They can drink on the beach. The bars are going to stay open until 4. That's not true."
Those ordinances include the prohibition against drinking alcohol on the sandy beach or in commercial parking lots in March, ending alcohol sales at 2 a.m. and preventing overnight scooter rentals.
"I just want the kids to be well-informed so that they know if they come here, we're still going to enforce the same ordinances we had last year," said Whitman.
The department will also be spreading the message to universities and colleges where spring breakers typically come from.
"We're sending some stuff out to the large campuses around here, the universities that say the same message," said Whitman.
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