RPD proposes daytime panhandling ban to address homelessness

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(ABC 6 News) – Rochester Police Chief Jim Franklin floated the idea of placing a ban on daytime panhandling as a way of addressing homelessness in Rochester during the city council’s study session on Wednesday.

According to Chief Franklin, it’s an issue that has direct consequences on public safety.

“I’ve seen it happen right in front of me, a car in the right-hand lane to go left holding out a dollar and the person trying to go get the dollar looked like a Frogger game dodging traffic, that’s a public safety issue,” Chief Franklin said.

They want the council to consider a ban on daytime camping within city limits and ban panhandling within the downtown area.

Once Franklin finished his comments, some council members seemed on board with the idea.

“I for one think we should have the daytime camping ban now, get an ordinance sooner than later,” councilmember Palmer said.

The reasoning behind the daytime ban is that people would have a place to go during the day rather than night.

With more services available during the day, they believe it’ll be easier to direct the homeless there.

It’s something law enforcement has been struggling with for a while.

Right now there is no ordinance being prepared for the ban, but law enforcement hopes their concerns will make the city take this into consideration.

No immediate answer was reached but some councilmembers were on board to have the ban like councilmember Palmer.

City council president Brooke Carlson said she wants to hear from community partners before making a decision.