PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – Jessica Bruhmuller is the Administrative Assistant to the Criminal Investigations Unit for the Panama City Beach Police Department and oversees the department’s Reserve Unit.
Her office may be small, but her list of duties is not.
“I go over reports that need to go to investigations, handle bunch of things with the State Attorney’s office,” said Jessica Bruhmuller. “I’m the liaison there as far as with them getting the report from here to them.”
Her list of duties gets a little longer during the holiday season. Bruhmuller spearheads the department’s Holiday Helpers program.
“Every year, it’s usually anywhere from 150-200 families and over 300 kids.”
Holiday Helpers provides gifts along with a ham and sides at Christmas and a turkey dinner with all the fixings at Thanksgiving.
“I know a lot of kids have to go without and so it’s nice to do our part to make sure that they don’t have to go without.”
Bruhmuller took on the program 20 years ago, around the same time she started at the police department.
“I kind of got thrown into the mix, I guess, and took over the program.”
She coordinates the pick-up and deliveries for the families who need it, all while keeping up with her daily duties as well.
From October to the end of December, Bruhmuller takes phones calls from parents who need a little extra help. The most challenging part is then organizing it all.
“Those other duties they don’t stop,” said Bruhmuller. “So, yeah, during that time, I’m super busy.”
While it can be overwhelming, even emotional at times, Bruhmuller said it’s extremely rewarding. “There’s usually like one family every year that kind of you know really touches your heart and makes you like [think] ‘Oh you know, man, I’m so glad we do this”’.
Chief J.R. Talamantez knows what Bruhmuller brings to the table. They’ve worked together since she started. Her office is right across the hall from his. He said Jessica is an amazing public servant.
“From the amount she contributes to the community, to the police department, to how great of a mother she is; she’s married to a police officer here, a true law enforcement family,” said Talamantez. “I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Talamantez said without her, the Holiday Helpers program wouldn’t be able to help as many families each year.
“All of that on top of her normal duties as well, so all the time and effort she puts into it is just amazing and we wouldn’t be able to help all of those kids without her,” said Talamantez.
Bruhmuller said she’s surrounded by great people at work and refuses to take all the credit.
“If it wasn’t for my coworkers and like Lori and Brenda and stuff like that, there’s no way we could do it. There’s absolutely no way,” said Bruhmuller. “She says I’m remarkable, no, I couldn’t do it without those guys.”
The department is always collecting non-perishable food items for its Holiday Helpers program. You can donate items year-round to the department located at 17115 Panama City Beach Parkway. If you need any more information, you can contact Jessica directly at the department by calling (850) 233-5000.