Project to replace structures damaged by Hurricane Michael for the purpose of housing law enforcement specialty vehicles and equipment as well as a classroom/Emergency Operations Center for law enforcement training and operations. The Bay County Sheriff’s Office is located at 3421 Highway 77 on the border of Panama City and Lynn Haven. Structures in this area sustained catastrophic damage. The Bay County Sheriff’s Office lost a warehouse/shop metal building, several pole barns and sustained damage to a 20+ year-old portable classroom used to train law enforcement officers.
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office is active in the Regional Domestic Security Task Force, and has one of the regionally designated bomb squads and swat teams. As such, we have obtained valuable specialty vehicles to respond to critical incidents throughout Northwest Florida. The bomb squad is one of two in the region, and has a vehicle and equipment valued at over $1.5 million. The Swat team is one of three designated in the region and has vehicles and equipment valued at over $400,000, including a $300,000 armored vehicle that was recently acquired through federal/state funding. We also have a mobile command post vehicle on order that is a joint purchase with Bay County Emergency Services that cost $650,000. The total value of this equipment exceeds $2.5 million. Due to the effects of Hurricane Michael, this equipment is being housed in our parking lot and exposed to the elements.
The project will allow for a suitable location to effectively train law enforcement officers. The training room could also function as a law enforcement command post in natural disaster and other law enforcement emergencies. The garage bays would allow for appropriate storage of high-value vehicles extending the useful life of this equipment.