PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)– The Panama City Beach City Council is exploring new ways to keep citizens safe.
At their city council meeting Thursday, they had a first reading of a new proposed rule that would impose fines on false alarms.
The idea behind the ruling is to free up time for first responders who could be potentially be missing a true emergency in the process of responding to a false alarm.
Panama City Beach Police Chief, Drew Whitman said that last year the department responded to over 1,000 false alarm calls.
“Those are alarms that we get to thinking that someone is breaking and entering or there’s a fire and we get there and it’s just a bad alarm system that no one wants to fix. We try to educate the owners and the business owners, but it’s taking away resources that we could really use,” Whitman said.
Whitman said a majority of the alarm calls that they respond to are false alarms, but he has trained each of his officers to respond to every call with the same seriousness.
The City Council is set to review the ruling for a second reading in the coming weeks.