Baldwin County police department adding staff on the streets after Panama City Beach rowdy crowds

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 4:57 PM CDT
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BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) - The surf and the sand draws thousands of people to Baldwin County every spring break.

This year, it has been crowded, but calm and local police departments want it to stay that way after seeing the chaos in Northwest Florida.

Law enforcement in Panama City Beach dealing with rowdy spring break crowds, crime and at least one shooting.

Last weekend alone, more than 150 people were arrested there.

But it is a completely different story more than 100 miles West.

In Baldwin County, no chaos this spring break, just calm.

“It’s been pretty quiet,” said Jessica Brown. “Everything has been chill we were talking about that this morning when we got here how peaceful it is.”

Brown is here with friends and family from Tennessee. Normally, they vacation in Panama City Beach, but this time they switched it up.

“Super thankful we don’t have to get into the mix of that and we can sit and enjoy ourselves and we can enjoy our vacation,” she said.

Just days after the trouble in Panama City Beach, Orange Beach Police are taking action.

“When we heard about what happened in Panama City Beach we went ahead and upped our staffing even more,” said Orange Beach Lt. Trent Johnson. “I’d say we’re probably running double or a little over what our normal patrol shifts would be so in the event that we do have any problems we can respond quickly and we can shut it down very, very quickly.”

Orange Beach and Gulf Shores Police both say Spring Break has been smooth so far. Vacationers hope it stays that way.

“That’s just not what we want to happen in Alabama,” said Alyson Calhoon. “We want to be able to come and enjoy ourselves and have a good time at the beach without having to worry about the safety of our families.”

The goal is a family friendly Spring Break in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. That is why alcohol is banned on Gulf Shores beach and in some area of Orange Beach.