Panama City Beach Mayor responds to video of fight, discusses safety plans moving forward

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)–A video of a fight that took place at a Panama City Beach convenience store this Memorial Day weekend continues to circulate the internet and concern residents. The Mayor of Panama City Beach is now speaking out, saying the city will not stand for it.

“Listen, it’s not something we’re gonna stand for. If you want to come to Panama City Beach and cause trouble, you’re gonna spend the day in jail,” said Mark Sheldon, the Mayor of Panama City Beach.

After the fight, Sheldon says he met with the Panama City Beach Police Department Tuesday morning to devise a plan.

“We had about 25 officers on duty at nighttime this last weekend. This weekend you’re going to see 50 officers on duty during those same times so we won’t be spread thin with that many calls coming in,” said Sheldon.

The police department clocked in 1,500 calls for service this past weekend. Calls were up 50% from Memorial Day weekend 2019 and 235% from Memorial Day weekend 2018.

“We had more calls for service from our police department this year on Memorial Day weekend then we’ve had any year in the previous 6 years,” said Sheldon.

Sheldon believes the influx of visitors was due to pent up energy and increased demand to want to head to the beach. The city also plans on working closely with popular businesses to control the crowds.

“We know there have been some hotspots and those have been hotspots for not just this weekend, they’ve been hotspots in the past so we want to make sure we’re showing a presence in some of these areas,” said Sheldon.

Sheldon assures residents that even more efforts are happening behind the scenes.

“There’s a lot of details behind the plan and some of that we don’t like to give out to the public because we want to make sure we have a good executable plan for ourselves,” said Sheldon.

Moving forward, Sheldon says the Bay County Sheriff’s Office will also be assisting with patrolling the crowds.

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