Panama City Beach Police step in to help with Hurricane Ian relief efforts

Venice Flooding
Venice Flooding
Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 9:24 PM EDT
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VENICE, Fla. (WWSB) - First responders from across the country are answering the call from Southwest Florida and responding to the devastation Hurricane Ian left behind. The Panama City Beach Police Department is one of them.

The Panhandle knows all too well what it’s like to recover after a massive storm and just how many people it takes to clean up the mess. That’s why Sgt. Nicholas Caligiure said he feels honored to be returning the favor.

Caligiure and his team of 10 made the nearly seven-hour drive down last week and have been stepping in wherever they can. Teaming up with the Venice Police Department, officers are doubling up and tagging along to answer emergency calls.

Venice Police have opened two distribution centers and turned the Venice high school into a shelter. But there just aren’t enough responders on duty to cover security around the clock, which is where the Panama City officers have stepped in.

Caligiure said it’s the least they can do after all Southwest Florida did for them when they needed it most back in October 2018.

“You know we volunteered to come here and we just went through the same thing unfortunately not too long ago. And we needed help, we needed resources and we’re so happy to have them. Whenever we had Michael hit, I didn’t have a day off for two and a half weeks so we know the feeling,” Caliguire said.

The Panama City officers plan to spend about two weeks in the Sarasota area to help in recovery efforts.