Police chief defends laws targeting spring break rowdiness

Panama City: Keep Bars Open 'Til 4 a.m. During Spring Break
Posted at 4:54 PM, Apr 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-15 16:54:00-04

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The Panama City Beach police chief is defending laws aimed at curtailing spring break rowdiness.

Chief Drew Whitman told the city council Thursday that overall crime was down compared with the last two spring break seasons.

The 2015 spring break was marked by shootings and a video of three men appearing to rape an incapacitated woman on a crowded beach. Whitman said there were 22 sexual batteries in 2015, compared to nine this year.

Whitman also said officers confiscated 26 guns this year, compared to 35 in 2015.

The new ordinances included a ban on drinking on the beach and limits on club hours.

The News Herald reports ( ) Whitman and council members also discussed phasing out scooter rental businesses because of safety concerns about scooters on the city's roads at night.