PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – It appears a small window sticker is making a lasting impact on solving crimes.
About 100-downtown businesses have already joined in a popular anti-trespassing Panama City police program. Friday the department made an expansion into St. Andrews and the Glenwood communities.
Panama City police kicked off this initiative in December. Local businesses owners pasted these no-littering or trespassing stickers onto their windows.
After seeing months of success, police officials are now adding more communities.
“A lot of the time I am here by myself,” Josiah’s Southern Cooking owner Sharolyn Gains said. “So we get people out there just hanging around, so this will be a safety precaution.”
So far, 100 stickers have been placed on downtown business fronts. Friday, police officers delivered more stickers to Glenwood businesses.
“They are signing the trespass warning letters and it gives the law enforcement the authority to know that business just by being here and driving up after hours, saws this business is protected,” PCPD Police Chief Mark Smith said.
Smith said trespassing happens all over Panama City., and his goal is for safe business operation.
“So your customers can come and go without being harassed or having to step over somebody,” Smith said. “Not having to clean up trash out of their parking lots or in front of their businesses is important.”
Not only has this program been in the Glenwood community, but it has expanded into the St. Andrews community as well.
“With the nightlife in St Andrews, our dark corners we hope that there’s not someone asleep in the dark corners so we hope these signs can help run those undesirables out,” Sunjammers owner Brad Stephens said.
The Panama City Community Reinvestment Agency Director Michael Johnson believes there has been an increase in trespassing since Hurricane Michael.
“We want to make sure we get ahead of the increase in crimes,” Johnson said.
Officers plan to reach out to more businesses to add the signs. Panama City police hope their next expansion will take place in Millville.