Drew Whitman: A Year Looking Back, A Year Looking Forward - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Drew Whitman: A Year Looking Back, A Year Looking Forward

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Ready or not 2013 is here, and at the Panama City Beach Police Department, January of 2012 seems like just yesterday.

"It gets away from ya," said Lieutenant Jamey Wright. "It doesn't seem like a year."

"It's a snap of a finger," said Linda Humphries, Whitman's Secretary.  

"It went by fast," said Chief Whitman. "I've enjoyed it, but it went by real fast."

Drew Whitman accepted his position as Chief of Police in Panama City one year ago Friday.

"It was like it was yesterday," said Whitman. "Richard Jackson called me over to city hall and asked me if I still wanted to position and I accepted it."

Humphries and Wright have both worked under the tenure of four police chiefs. Both agree Chief Whitman has done a lot for the department.

"He has an open door policy he's just very, very easy to talk to," said Humphries. "But, know you tow the line with him. He's straight ace."

"He's very approachable," said Wright. "He will work with you at any given time will come out and make his own traffic stops and work with the shift. A lot of the guys really like that. They like to see an active chief taking an active role."

A role he may have taken up from someone he admired. A stick from the legendary Sheriff Buford Pusser hangs in Whitman's office as a reminder of his role.

"He gets back to regular oriented policing," said Wright. "Getting out with the public and making those contacts and making everybody feel safe."

Aside from another successful spring break and bringing back the motor unit, Chief Whitman says he's already setting goals for next year.

"The patrol officers who are out in the trenches working day and night those are the guys I look out for," said Whitman. "I try to take care of them and its important for me to try and keep the moral up."

Chief Whitman also says he looks forward to getting a new police station in the future. Something that should be set in stone in the upcoming months.