Chief Drew R. Whitman grew up in Byron, Michigan. He settled in Panama City Beach in 1988 while serving in the United States Air Force, at Tyndall Air Force Base. He joined the Panama City Beach Police Department as an auxiliary officer in 1989, and received his Criminal Justice Certification from Gulf Coast Community College during this time. In 1991, he became a full time officer after completing his tour with the Air Force, which included a tour of duty in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He worked his way through the ranks of uniformed patrol, and then on February 15, 2012 Chief Whitman took over the command of the Department as Chief of Police.
Chief Whitman is a 2004 graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy, with the 219th session. He is a member of the FBINAA, the Florida Chief of Police Association, where he serves on the Board of Directors, representing District 10. He is also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a Master Mason and a member of the Shaddai Shrine Temple. He also serves as the Chair for the Gulf Coast Criminal Justice Selection Center Board.