PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Police are partnering with more businesses to prevent people from loitering. 

Police can remove trespassers from private property if the business has a window sticker provided by the Police Department. 

The program is a year old, with around 200 Panama City businesses participating. The notices allow police to remove trespassers from businesses at any time of day. 

“For example, if an officer is on patrol at 2 o’clock in the morning, they find a person outside the business on private property and they see that sticker on the business window, they know that they can act on behalf of that business owner because there is the letter signed on file,” Panama City Police Captain Christopher Nichol said.

On Wednesday Newk’s Eatery and Gene’s Oyster Bar added stickers to their windows. Newk’s is the first business on 23rd St. with the sticker. Gene’s Oyster Bar is the first in Millville. 

“We have a lot of homeless people in Bay County and it’s not that the homeless are a bad thing but there are some that have disorders,” Newk’s Eatery General Manager Victoria Hernandez said. “And when they come up here they frighten our customers a lot.”

Business owners said the program allows officers to remove people from private property efficiently.

“I think it’s very important just for the officers to have the availability to enforce the law and do the things that they need to do,” Gene’s Oyster Bar Co-owner Gena Burgans said. “Even if one of us can’t be reached to give them permission to do the things that they need to do.”