Getting a behind the scenes look with Gulf Coast Jam security
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Gulf Coast Jam is one of the largest events of the year in Panama City Beach. Thousands of people flood Frank Brown Park to sing along to their favorite country songs.
“This festival is sold out, so we will have thirty thousand people at least each day,” Boyd Clark, with DSI Security Services, said.
So, it is up to local law enforcement and a security team from a private company called DSI Security Services to make sure everyone in attendance stays safe.
“We handle a lot of internal stuff ourselves. We have law enforcement partners, and medical partners on sight. Safety is very important. We don’t deal with folks getting rowdy and fighting and things like that. We are a family-friendly event, and we are going to keep it that way,” Clark said.
Clark said that the company has been working at Gulf Coast Jam from the start.
“We have been with Gulf Coast Jam since its inception, since day one,” Clark said.
Clark said his favorite part about working the festival every year is getting to see people’s reactions.
“I get to see everybody that you don’t see a lot of the time but once a year,” Clark said. “Just seeing the smile on people’s faces it is all about the experience. The plan is to give them the greatest experience that we can, so they come back next year.”
DSI Security Services has an office in Panama City, and Clark said they make safety a priority for Gulf Coast Jam every year.
“Our job is to be able to go to sleep at night knowing that we have done the best we can to protect our patrons, our employees, and our artist here on sight,” Clark said.
Not to mention several of the security officers are from the Bay County area.
“We will have 130 plus uniformed officers out here on our team and I would say 75-80% are local,” Clark said.
This year if you are attending Gulf Coast Jam, Clark says there will be a few changes.
“In the past, we have done pat downs, this year we are doing walk-through monitors with pat downs if needed. We have a clear bag policy. A lot of video analytical cameras are in the just making sure everybody is safe. Our law enforcement partners have all kinds of resources here on sight as well. So, the safety of our patrons is our number one priority,” Clark said.
Clark said they also have new technology for checking IDs.
“We are utilizing a web-based ID check verifying system called ‘Intellicheck’ to verify whether fake IDs are real or not. They have come a long way with the technology. Even with the real ID as soon as the Real ID came out, you got fakes that look just like them. We are utilizing technology to make sure we do not have underage drinkers,” Clark said.
For those who are of age, there are new 21-and-up wristbands, and you will need to keep those on for the entire festival.
Clark has one big piece of advice for people attending Gulf Coast Jam this week.
“Stay hydrated, smile, have fun, and just enjoy yourself. That is what it is all about,” Clark said.
Grab your cowboy boots and get ready for a country music-filled weekend and thank those who are working hard to keep everyone safe.
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