Each year, thousands of people flock to Panama City Beach during spring break, leaving the beach crowded and law enforcement busy.
Now that the majority of spring break is over, multiple law enforcement agencies are reflecting on what they can do to control spring break in the future.
"Shootings, robberies, sex offenses that we see year after year, certainly not getting any better," said Major Tommy Ford, Bay County Sheriffs Office. "We have to as a community engage this discussion and I think that the sheriff feels that the recommendations are a good starting point."
In a letter written to the Panama City Beach City Manager, Sheriff Frank McKeithen outlines the steps he feels like should be taken to control spring break.
Those recommendations are as follows:
Allow no alcoholic beverages on the beaches(sand) or parking lots, during spring break, as has already been implemented in many community such as Daytona Beach and Ft. Lauderdale.
Any person possessing alcoholic beverages must have a valid I. D. On their person.
During college spring break, require all bars, clubs and other establishments located on Panama City Beach and the unincorporated area west of Hathaway Bridge to stop serving alcoholic beverages at least by 2am and possibly even earlier.
Aggressively enforce capacity limits and fire safety ordinances during spring break at condos, hotels, and clubs.
Use TDC advertising money currently spent on college spring break to advertise what you can't do here and all new laws and ordinances.
Ford says the sheriff's office has done research on other cities that have had similar issues with spring break and overcome them. These recommendations are based off of that research.
"Unfortunately in these places they had some big watershed event that forced them to make some of those changes," he said. "I think in Bay County we are better than that and we should masker changes before it happens."
A lot of resources are used to control the crowds on the beach. The Panama City Beach Police Department alone from March 1st through April 9th responded to 11, 457 calls for service and made 973 arrests.
431 calls were made to Club La Vela resulting in 74 arrests.
290 calls at Walmart with 75 arrests.
276 calls at Spinnaker with 53 arrests.
and 205 calls at the Holiday Inn with 32 arrests.
Chief Whitman is also looking to draft his own recommendations to the city. He is in process of talking to businesses and locals in hopes to accommodate changes that would work for everyone.