Crime in Panama City beach is always a concern for locals especially during the tourism season. At a Panama City Beach City Council meeting Thursday morning, the issue of crime was brought to the forefront. 

An article ranking Panama City Beach as the 22nd most dangerous city in the United States said there are more than 10 violent crimes per 1,000 people.

When community members questioned what the council is doing to fight crime, they responded by bringing Police Chief Drew Whitman to the podium.

He said while the article used real data, it was outdated and didn’t take into account the amount of tourists that visit each year in their population calculations, skewing the results.

“If you look at the cities she listed, a lot of them are tourist towns and they have the same issue we have. It’s a small population and all of the sudden they get this huge influx of visitors, and that’s what we want, that’s what Panama City Beach is all about… they just didn’t add those numbers,” said Panama City Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman.
Chief Whitman said their violent and property crime numbers have gone down since 2015. He said the city council’s spring break ordinances have likely contributed to that decrease but he said it can change year to year.