IMPD cracking down on panhandling near intersections
Officers saw fewer violators Monday
Last Updated: 111 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - Metro police launched a citywide crackdown on panhandling at intersections across the city last week, and they're already seeing results in some areas.
The commander of IMPD's North District said officers are targeting busy intersections and high-traffic interstate ramps where roadside panhandlers snarl traffic and put themselves and others at risk.
Officers ticketed one woman Monday who said she'd made $16 in just 10 minutes standing at the intersection of Michigan and Vincennes roads on the north side.
The woman's sign said she was living in her car temporarily, and she was trying to get back home. She gave police a Bloomington address.
North District officers issued more than 10 tickets during sweeps one day last week, but they said there seemed to be fewer people out panhandling Monday.
The fine for panhandling near an intersection is $25, and violators have seven days to pay.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has sued the city, saying police have harassed the panhandlers, denying their right to free speech.
"The panhandlers in this case are doing exactly what they're allowed by statute. But nevertheless, they're being targeted and threatened with arrest by the city," Ken Falk, with the ACLU of Indiana, said.
An ordinance that would create a panhandle-free zone within the downtown district remains in limbo in the City-County Council.
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