PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez has been in his position for over a year now. He reflected on his first year as the Chief.
His first year was a busy one and an adjustment from the previous positions he held in law enforcement.
“Has it been a year already?” Chief Talamantez said.
The first year of being the PCBPD chief flew by for him. Serving in law enforcement is not new for him, but responding to situations with his new title does change the way he reacted and feels.
“I’ve seen it from all different areas, but seeing it from the Police Chiefs position, it affects you a little differently, it does, you know being the bucks stops with you, it comes with a little more tension,” Talamantez said.
The months of March to July included several riots, fighting, drugs, and increased tourism that resulted in new strategies by the department.
Chief Talamentez said he knew what to expect and to shut down the beach behind Pineapple Willys to help deal with crime in that area. He added that the crime rates did decrease and he plans on using what he learned in the future.
“The fact is that in this city and lots of cities like us, we can almost set our clock to when our peak times would be, when our busy times would be,” Talamantez said. “If we just put a little bit more effort and use some more data technology to anticipate those specific threats we can put measures in place to mitigate the potential impact.”
The response time is not just important for the summer months.
“We’re a different city now, we need to embrace different ideologies and strategies to keep our community safe. And the fact is, year round destinations call for year round threat assessment when it comes to public safety,” Talamantez continued.
Chief Talamantez said he is proud of the support gained from the community and city leaders during the first year. He is grateful for his entire Police Department and plans to improve the protection of the community by strategizing year round.
“We have the luxury of policing in paradise. That’s not only our environment, that’s the community that supports us,” Talamantez said.
He said the job does come with plenty of stress but he has enjoyed the last year and looks forward to improving Panama City Beach.
Talamantez added that protecting the men and women who serve with him and making sure they remain physically and emotionally well is a priority for him as the Police Chief.