Quantcast

Sarasota panhandling ban starts Monday - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Sarasota panhandling ban starts Monday

Posted: Updated:
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Panhandling is now illegal in the city of Sarasota.

It's been a big issue in the city for months, and a new ordinance has taken effect that bans begging from street corners. 

Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said if a panhandler is spotted, they will be warned then either ticketed or arrested.

It's a sight that's now hard to find- panhandlers on street corners.

Many of Sarasota's vagrant population have quickly vanished.

The reason? Starting Monday, police have started cracking down on panhandlers.

In February, a circuit judge ordered a 60 day injunction that prevented the city from interfering with the First Amendment rights of the homeless.

While the injunction was in place, city officials said panhandling became a serious issue. Beggars holding signs were found along most major roadways. But last week city commissioners approved a new ordinance that they believe is constitutional.

And police officers began enforcing it on Monday.

DiPino said, "Giving [panhandlers] money is keeping them in that position."

Sarasota police chief Bernadette DiPino said the new ordinance is good for the city.

"I think ultimately it's gonna help individuals who are out on the street, asking for money, it'll give us a chance to focus on getting them the help and resources they need," said DiPino.

Soliciting will no longer be allowed along roadways, medians and sidewalks.

Advertisers are excluded- they'll still be able to wave their signs.

She said, "Whether you're giving somebody a dollar or a bottle of water or whatever it is, if there is some type of interaction there, that's when the violation comes into play."

DiPino said it is legal for a driver or passenger to voluntarily hand out money from a car, but it is illegal to ask for donations from the roadway.

Officers are now keeping an eye out on their regular patrols, and signs have been posted to inform motorists.

But this doesn't sit well with the ACLU.

ACLU Attorney Andrea Flynn Mogensen said, "The focus has been on homeless people but we're concerned that it will chill free speech rights of everyone."

The ACLU Sarasota chapter will keep tabs on all citations that are issued.

They're going to see if there are any first amendment violations.

Mogensen said, "I do think that there's a better way to handle the issue of homeless. When you have the government try to legislate away a social problem, you're gonna run afoul on the constitution."

All along, city officials have said this ordinance is more about driver safety, but Chief DiPino thinks it can help the homeless population too.

"We're hoping that they'll actually give their money to charitable organizations and there are so many of them doing so many good things for those people who need money and need help and resources," said DiPino.

This ordinance means nobody can solicit.

That includes newspaper salesmen and firemen with their ‘Fill the boot' campaign.

Those boot drives raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Merv Kennel, the president of Suncoast Firefighters said as a result of this ordinance, firemen have had to raise funds in front of restaurants and grocery stores.

Kennel said the donated cash pales in comparison to the money raised on street corners.

  • NewsMore>>

  • One dead, one injured on beach after plane crash

    One dead, one injured on beach after plane crash

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:57 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:57:43 GMT
    Man killed and his daughter was critical injured when they were hit by a plane making a crash landing on Caspersen Beach in Venice.Man killed and his daughter was critical injured when they were hit by a plane making a crash landing on Caspersen Beach in Venice.
    An emergency landing by a small plane on Caspersen Beach in Venice claimed the life of a man walking with his young daughter Sunday, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said.About 2:45 pm, Venice Airport contacted the sheriff's office regarding a small plane in distress that was unable to make it back to the airport, Sarasota County sheriff's spokeswoman Wendy Rose said in a news release. Instead the pilot was going to try to land on the beach.The 1972 Piper Cherokee airplane hit the man and...
    An emergency landing by a small plane on Caspersen Beach in Venice claimed the life of a man walking with his young daughter Sunday, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said.About 2:45 pm, Venice Airport contacted the sheriff's office regarding a small plane in distress that was unable to make it back to the airport, Sarasota County sheriff's spokeswoman Wendy Rose said in a news release. Instead the pilot was going to try to land on the beach.The 1972 Piper Cherokee airplane hit the man and...
  • ATVs, trailer missing from Winter Haven home

    ATVs, trailer missing from Winter Haven home

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:13:05 GMT
    An ATV missing from a Winter Haven home.An ATV missing from a Winter Haven home.
    About 9 a.m. Sunday, a Winter Haven man discovered his 2006 12-foot black "Emerson" style trailer missing his yard on Roselawn St. SW. The trailer, decked out with 5 1/4 inch floor boards, had been taken overnight, the Winter Haven Police Department said. Two ATVs were on the trailer, the police department report said. One of the he ATVs was described as green/black 2005 Polaris MV7 with custom tracks in place of the tires. The second one is a tan/black 2002 Honda TRX250 2X4 with 25 inch...
    About 9 a.m. Sunday, a Winter Haven man discovered his 2006 12-foot black "Emerson" style trailer missing his yard on Roselawn St. SW. The trailer, decked out with 5 1/4 inch floor boards, had been taken overnight, the Winter Haven Police Department said. Two ATVs were on the trailer, the police department report said. One of the he ATVs was described as green/black 2005 Polaris MV7 with custom tracks in place of the tires. The second one is a tan/black 2002 Honda TRX250 2X4 with 25 inch...
  • Automated car tests close Selmon Expressway elevated lanes

    Automated car tests close Selmon Expressway elevated lanes

    Sunday, July 27 2014 5:54 PM EDT2014-07-27 21:54:58 GMT
    The gray Audi is the self-driving vehicle.The gray Audi is the self-driving vehicle.
    BMW touts itself as the ultimate driving machine. Audi may want to start a campaign touting its cars as the ultimate machine you don't have to drive, until you hit 40-miles an hour. The company is testing automated or piloted driving tests in Tampa on Sunday and Monday. On Monday, to facilitate those tests, the Selmon Crosstown elevated lanes will be closed from 10 am till about 3:30 or 4pm. Sue Charzan with the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority says rush hour traffic should not be aff...
    BMW touts itself as the ultimate driving machine. Audi may want to start a campaign touting its cars as the ultimate machine you don't have to drive, until you hit 40-miles an hour. The company is testing automated or piloted driving tests in Tampa on Sunday and Monday. On Monday, to facilitate those tests, the Selmon Crosstown elevated lanes will be closed from 10 am till about 3:30 or 4pm. Sue Charzan with the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority says rush hour traffic should not be aff...
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Lakeland man spray-paints garage door with message for thief

    Lakeland man spray-paints garage door with message for thief

    Saturday, July 26 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-07-26 13:53:51 GMT
    Jerry Ashley's message spray-painted on his garage door.Jerry Ashley's message spray-painted on his garage door.
    A Lakeland man, grieving his wife’s passing, has spray-painted his garage door with a message for the thief who stole his late wife’s laptop filled with sentimental photos.
    A Lakeland man, grieving his wife’s passing, has spray-painted his garage door with a message for the thief who stole his late wife’s laptop filled with sentimental photos.
  • Pregnant woman injured in accidental shooting

    Pregnant woman injured in accidental shooting

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:15 AM EDT2014-07-27 15:15:28 GMT
    Hernando County sheriff's deputies are investigating the shooting of a five-month pregnant woman late Saturday.About 6:45 p.m. Saturday, theHernando County Sheriff's Office Emergency Communications Center received a call about a shooting at20079 Suncrest Drive in Brooksville.Sheriff's deputies and Hernando County Fire Rescue emergency units responded to thescene, where they found Kathleen Hoover with a head injury, a ...
    Hernando County sheriff's deputies are investigating the shooting of a five-month pregnant woman late Saturday.About 6:45 p.m. Saturday, theHernando County Sheriff's Office Emergency Communications Center received a call about a shooting at20079 Suncrest Drive in Brooksville.Sheriff's deputies and Hernando County Fire Rescue emergency units responded to thescene, where they found Kathleen Hoover with a head injury, a ...
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: July 14 -19

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: July 14 -19

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:38 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:38:43 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from July 14 to 19, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from July 14 to 19, 2014.
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.