PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — With school just a week and a half away, teachers returned to the classroom on Monday. This year Bay District Schools welcomed a new Police Chief.
Doug Boortz took over for Mike Jones who retired after 26 years in the spring. Jones oversaw day-to-day operations while also ensuring that school equipment like fire alarms and fences were functional.
Boortz has now split those responsibilities into two jobs.
“It alleviates a lot of pressure from me because now I can concentrate on things that a chief of police needs to,” Boortz said.
Boortz will now focus on ensuring equipment is operational. That will allow him to work more closely with principals and students.
“Lot of that had to be put on the back burner,” Boortz said. “But now it’s all front and center. I can take care of a lot of these things for them.”
Boortz said he will also dedicate time working with local law enforcement on active shooter training.
“Now we can focus more on training with active shooter,” Boortz said. “Training with other agencies. Because that’s what’s going to happen. We’re going to be the first one’s. We’re already there in schools, but everybody’s coming. And we’ve all got to be able to work together and now we’re going to be able to do that.”
He also added a K-9 to the police force. Boortz said the dog will help special needs students keep calm in stressful situations.
“Say a school calls us and says ‘look we’ve got a kid that’s in a melt-down situation, nothing’s working,” Boortz said. “Can you bring the dog over and we’ll see if it calms him down?’ I guarantee it’s going to do it, it’s going to work. Those kinds of things is where it’s going to help us a lot in.”