PANAMA CITY, Fla. - As the City of Panama City moves forward with redevelopment of the Harrison District, multiple things have to change for the area to be successful.
"Downtown is working hard to re-design itself as a place for families and shoppers. It needs to be seen as an area that's up and coming and not a place that vagrants would want to hangout," said Main Street Antiques Owner Liane Harding.
One of the biggest issues city leaders say they're dealing with in the area that's hindering progress is vagrancy.
According to the Panama City Police Department they've had an increase in calls regarding panhandlers and transients in the Harrison District, including one person who would repeatedly urinate on businesses and benches.
City officials are targeting a specific group of people and say there's a difference between the global homeless issues and the problems that they're dealing with.
"But what we're really talking about are those repeat offenders that are aggressively approaching people that are urinating in the street and doing those types of things that are just not acceptable public behavior," said Panama City Commissioner John Kady.
PCPD is working with their staff to put a stop to the issue as quickly as possible but they say they need to public's help to do so.
"If that person needs to be warned, we'll warn them, if they need to take a trip to jail for their violation, then we'll do that too but we need to address the issues that are happening when they happen as soon as possible," said PCPD Captain Mark Laramore.
PCPD is urging the public to help them, so if you see vagrants in the Harrison district, call them at 872-3112.
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