Folsom Police Distributing Panhandler Flier
Feb 24, 2015 10:27AM, Published by Steven Jack, Categories: Community
Panhandlers can often be seen in the parking lot of this Trader Joe's on Bidwell Street in Folsom.
After several residents recently began airing concerns about aggressive panhandlers in Folsom, police are now arming residents with a way to help those truly in need.
Folsom Police are now distributing fliers for residents to hand people who approach them asking for money in public places like parking lots of local shopping centers. The fliers list area shelters and food banks complete with addresses and phone numbers.
“That doesn’t tell them no I don’t care about you and I don’t want to help you, but that isn’t a cash donation,” Folsom Police Sgt. Andrew Bates told Fox40 News.
The panhandling issue came to a head in recent weeks when residents began posting on the Folsom Watch Facebook page and a subsequent Folsom Panhandler Alert page.
Bates has said tackling the issue can be difficult because cracking down on panhandlers can sometimes be seen as an infringement of First Amendment Rights.
“In handling these types of calls, we have to carefully balance a person's First Amendment right to free speech with other people's right to free movement,” he said. “Court decisions have limited enforcement action to situations where a panhandler is aggressive or blocks someone's path.”
Residents wanting a copy of the flier can print out the .pdf image attached to the top of this article.
Folsom Police encourage residents to report threatening or intimidating activity. Read More »