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FSU Panama City Partners with Local Law Enforcement

Florida Law Enforcement, First Responders and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission have established a Public Safety Diving Mutual Aid agreement with Florida State University Panama City. The newly formed Joint Agency in-Water Strike or JAWS Team will focus on increasing efficiency, effectiveness and safety of team agencies while reducing cost and response time by minimizing cross agency duplication of resources.

A formal agreement among these agencies and FSU Panama City will be signed into effect on Wednesday, May 30, 2013 at FSU Panama City in the Holley Academic Center Lecture Hall.

 “JAWS is yet another way for FSU Panama City faculty partner with practitioners to provide expertise in assisting our local community,” said campus Dean Ken Shaw.

Advanced Science Dive Program Director and Public Safety and Security faculty, Mike Zinszer explains that, "Florida State University Panama City has a unique capability in underwater research and operations for criminal and engineering investigations in an aquatic environment. Since the development of the Underwater Crime Scene Investigation program at FSU Panama City we have supported law enforcement and first responders in education, training and augmenting their dive teams with UCSI investigators and advanced technology. This formal signing of the JAWS initiative is the first step in streamlining water bound emergency responses and investigations with an inter-agency approach which reduces response time, increases efficiency and reduces direct cost to taxpayers. To my knowledge this is a first at any University, to partner in such an aggressive way with law enforcement and first responders in direct support of their efforts and the safety of the community.”  

The agreement allows for the cooperation and assistance of public safety diving and marine response activities among Team members beyond jurisdictional lines. Participating agencies will coordinate the standardization of diving equipment and training procedures and the use of advanced diving technology resources.