PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach’s busiest time of year is just a week away. Thousands of people travel to the beach to celebrate July 4.
But the festivities also mean increased service calls for the police department.
“Expect an increase in call volume,” Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez said. “Expect more demand of police services obviously because of increased population that we’ll have. You know this is our busiest weekend of the year historically. And this year we’re expecting the same.”
Talamantez said there will be increased pedestrians and traffic. He said more officers will be on patrol to counteract the increased population.
“In typical fashion we’re going to increase staffing,” Talamantez said. “We’re going to modify deployment schedules and ensure that our officers, well we have more officers at the peak calls for service times.”
The police department isn’t the only agency preparing for crowds, Panama City Beach Fire Rescue is readying for thousands of people on the beach. They’re urging people to stay safe in the water.
“The Gulf is an open body of water with currents, with different depths,” PCB Fire Rescue Beach Safety Director Wil Spivey said. “You can step off a sandbar and get into water over your head or even right off the beach. So if you’re a non-swimmer or a weak swimmer be aware of that and take measures to protect yourself.”