PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The Panama City Beach Police Department held its first “Christmas with Cops” event on Friday night. 

Kids from the area sipped on hot chocolate and munched on smores and popcorn from 5 to 8 pm. 

“To come out here and be with everyone amongst the beach that we know, it’s like getting the whole family back together again,” Panama City Beach resident Kelliy Williams said. “It’s wonderful.”

For the police department, it was a way to connect with the community. 

“Christmas is very near and dear to my heart,” Panama City Police Chief J.R. Talamantez said. “You know, new chief, new traditions. And we’re going to hope to grow this event. You know Captain Claus is a new member of our agency, we’re happy to have him, and he’s bringing holiday cheer to the kids of Panama City Beach.”

Besides food and drinks, kids also had the opportunity to take pictures with Santa and the Grinch. 

The police department also played the movie “Santa Paws” for families to enjoy.