PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Panama City Police Department is celebrating a milestone since Hurricane Michael.
Their marine one boat was out of service due to damage from the storm.
But now, it’s back and better than ever.
“It’s amazing to have the boat back together after having Hurricane Michael damage repaired and the new electronics allow us to become a member again of the waterborne team that’s here in Bay County,” Lieutenant Chris Taylor said.
Some of the new electronics include a new radar and inside imaging, allowing the captain to see items below the surface in 3D.
The marine unit can also issue citations to people on the water, but Lt. Taylor said that’s not their primary purpose.
“We’ll speak to people about safety, about required equipment and things like that, but in the event that there was truly an event that required a law enforcement response in the means of an arrest or a boating under the influence, we would at that point step in and handle it and not ask another agency to come in,” he said.
Lt. Taylor said the department wants the community to look to the boat for help.
“Don’t be afraid to talk… Don’t go look the other way… We’re not out here to harass anybody,” he said. “At the same time, if you’re out here and something isn’t right, you’re broke down, you need some type of help, wave us down. Wave any of the law enforcement boats down.”
The marine unit has been part of the police department for around 20 years, and this vessel has been active for the past 12 years.