Greensboro ordinance to impose more restrictions on panhandlers

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- On Tuesday, city council is set to vote on an ordinance that will restrict where panhandlers can stand and ask for money.

Under the council's proposal, panhandling will be limited to sidewalks, prohibiting them from medians, curbs, sidewalks, crosswalks and in the roadways. Panhandlers must also stay within 1,000 feet away from any entrance or exit of a highway and 100 feet from banks or ATM's.

Greensboro Police Department's  Deputy Chief Dwight Crotts said changes to the ordinance would comply with state laws on panhandling and act as a safety precaution.

"We've had complaints but we haven't had any accidents to my knowledge, said Crotts adding, "We try to be proactive."

The deputy police chief said there would be a grace period to educate panhandlers if the proposal passes.

If someone does not comply with the standards, the current enforcement is to issue a citation with a $50 fine.  From January to August 21st there were 29 charges on record for panhandler violations.

Tuesday night city council will vote to amend the ordinance.