Panama City Police have a new addition to its fleet. Thanks to a Port Security Grant the department has received a brand new police vessel that hasn't even touched the waters of the Gulf.
The 21 foot boat is called the "Justice" model by it's manufacturer, and Panama City Police are hoping to provide justice with it's use.
"It's going to be a tremendous help and assistance to us in our functions and duties on the water," said Sergeant Mark Laramore with the Panama City Police Marine Unit. "This is a 100% upgrade. It's a patrol platform, it's the difference between going from a normal passenger car to one of those chargers you might have seen on T. V.
"It is a true police vessel, and it will give us the opportunity to patrol the port, which it was designed for."
The Boston Whaler is fully equipped with a light bar, GPS system and Mercury engine. It also features a removable side door to help with water rescues and lifting debris from the waters. Officers from the department hauled the boat back from the Daytona Beach area yesterday. The manufacturer of the boat, Brunswick, specializes in making boats for military special operations and fire rescue.
The boat will police the waters surrounding the cities jurisdiction, but also protect the port, which is how Panama City was eligible for the grant. Laramore says from here the boat will be fitted with its gizmos and gadgets and unit members will be trained in house on the new boat.
"This boat will be outfitted with additional equipment," said Laramore. "Some sonar equipment that was purchased with the grant funds, some sea burn equipment, some electronic equipment, and of course it will be painted so that people recognize it as a police vessel.
"And then it will be deployed."
Sergeant Laramore says after the boat is inspected and unit members are trained in house the boat should see the salty water of the Gulf in a few months.