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    Panama City Police invest in equipment to better respond to natural disasters

    By Cortney Evans,

    2024-06-13

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3YsEkA_0tqjJNQt00

    PANAMA CITY, Fla. ( WMBB ) – Since Hurricane Michael, Panama City Police have added equipment to better respond following natural disasters.

    They want the community to know they are ready to deploy both here and in other counties.

    Over the last few years, Panama City Police Chief Mark Smith has invested in equipment that’s crucial for hurricane recovery, including electric bikes, side-by-sides, ATVs, and a shallow water boat.

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    “We found that areas of the Cove, Milleville, Glenwood, and certain areas we weren’t able to get in except by bicycle or by foot, well, it’s hard to bring services in with you, you can’t even bring a case of water in to pass out to residents inside those and if you find somebody hurt, it doesn’t provide you a way to get them out,” Panama City Police Chief Mark Smith said.

    The department also has two RVs and a trailer that sleeps about 30 officers.

    “It’s fully air-conditioned, has lights, is preset for CPAP machines, has USB plugs, and has everything that they may need to charge phones, cell phones, or whatever else they may need,” Smith said.

    They’ve already used their commercial food trailer during last year’s deployment to Perry.

    “We took enough food down there, along with the officers, to be able to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner for every day that we were there,” Panama City Police Captain Billy Carstarphen said. “That was not just for the Panama City Police Department, but we had three other agencies actually deployed with us and so we were able to service them some of the agencies that were already there and some that were coming in,”

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    They also have a bathroom trailer with shower facilities. All the equipment can be loaded and ready to go in just a few hours.

    “The storm can put a lot of these areas in really bad conditions, kind of like we were with Michael and so we want to be able to help others and we want to be able to assist where we can,” Carstarphen said.

    Police officials said they used forfeiture money to buy the equipment. In a few weeks, they will be taking some of it to the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to mypanhandle.com.

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