DALLAS – In recent weeks the people of Dallas have seen an increase
in aggressive panhandling in the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods,
according to Assistant Chief Gary Tittle.
“The citizens are voicing their concerns and we are answering the
call,” Chief Tittle said.
What constitutes aggressive panhandling? It involves the act of going up
to a person and verbally confronting them, demanding them to donate money.
It can also include blocking a sidewalk, or road in an effort to obtain
money from passerby.
In response to the citizens’ pleas, the Dallas Police Department
has launched the Quality of Life Initiative, which is the department’s
effort to resolve the city’s panhandling problem. The initiative
is in full force, running 16 hours a day, every day.
“We are going to focus on the downtown and surrounding areas first,
and expand accordingly,” said Chief Tittle.
Panhandling is Illegal in the City of Dallas
According to the department, the goal is not to stop panhandlers from receiving
help. Instead, the goal is to redirect them to the proper channels for
receiving the help they need.
Panhandling is against the law in Dallas; it’s a
Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 fine.
If someone is experiencing extreme poverty, they do have several options
for assistance. Rather than letting them ask for money from people on
the Dallas streets, the department encourages anyone who wants to help
by researching the various programs that give to the needy through churches,
charities and other organizations.
The Dallas Police Department cautions the public that not all panhandlers
are homeless, or in desperate need of help. Many are playing on the heartstrings
of citizens who feel bad and hand over cash.
If a person violates the city’s panhandling law, they will be detained
and they may be arrested. The Dallas Police Department has asked that
citizens to call 911 if they observe any aggressive panhandling.
Arrested for panhandling or another criminal offense in Dallas, Plano or
Call The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC for an aggressive defense!