Dickinson Looks to Instate Panhandling Ordinance

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Three intersections in Dickinson have become popular among panhandlers. What they have in common, is they are all along the interstate.

Kessel says the city has recently seen more panhandling. And city administrators are not the only people who notice.

"The reason that we are looking into this panhandling ordinance is due to complaints that we have received from the public," said Kessel.

Last week the City Commission denied the ordinance because it didn't specify where panhandling was not allowed. Now, the draft is being updated.

"We're looking at a way to try and control panhandling at this intersection specifically and maybe others like it along our other interstate intersections," said Kessel.

The new ordinance will also identify different situations with panhandling.

"It is going to stipulate what is aggressive panhandling and where panhandling can and cannot take place," said David Wilkie, Dickinson Police captain.

Wilkie says in the past the police have become involved with panhandling. But there is almost always another element in play.

"In most cases it has turned out to be something different, whether it's somebody who is intoxicated or it's somebody who is under the influence of some kind of drug," Wilkie said.

He adds that the public's response is almost always one of two scenarios.

"Some people will hand out money and some people will yell at them to get a job," said Wilkie.

A public hearing will most likely take place before the ordinance is completed and enforced.

The city estimates it will take six weeks before a new ordinance is passed.