PCPD grows its ‘Window Cling’ program

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 8:32 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Panama City Police Department isn’t slowing down with its “Window Cling” program.

It expanded to Newk’s Eatery on 23rd St. and Gene’s Oyster Bar in Millville Wednesday. The popular program is an effort to limit people from hanging around businesses when they’re not permitted to do so. It also allows the police to act on the business owner’s behalf without having to call for permission.

Business owners enrolled in the program say it will help guests from being afraid of loiters.

Newk’s Eatery General Manager Victoria Hernandez said she’s dealt with homeless people at her business on a regular basis for 13 years.

“They’ll sleep here at night, sometimes, and then early in the mornings they’ll be here, and then they’ll sneak in during lunch when we can’t see so much,” Hernandez said. “They’ll come over and pee on our sidewalk. We’ve had to bleach the sidewalk so many times. It’s horrible. Literally we’ve had someone threaten customers with a knife before because they wouldn’t give him money.”

She was quick to act on the Window Cling program once she heard about it.

“I was like, absolutely, that’d be the best thing ever, because, you know, it’d help us out a lot,” Hernandez said.

Law enforcement also said the cling helps them in more ways than one.

“This has just been another progressive movement from the police department toward the community,” Capt. Christopher Nichol said with the Panama City Police Department. “It will build more involvement and relationships with business owners and the community. It will help us do our jobs more effectively.”

The program has been rolling for just over a year. The co-owner of Gene’s Oyster Bar Gena Burgans said she’s also grateful for it.

“It’s very nice to know there’s another set of eyes as officers are driving by that if they see anything that they’re concerned about that they have our permission to act upon that in whatever matter they so choose,” Burgans said.

The police department’s vision is to get every business in Panama City enrolled in the Window Cling program.

You can call 850-872-3112 if you’re interested in joining it.

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