The Dallas city council is placing more restrictions on panhandlers. Dallas already forbids panhandling at night and along streets but this new measure creates “solicitation-free” zones in Downtown’s Central Business District, Deep Ellum, Uptown and Victory Park.
“The ordinance aims at making tourists feel more secure Downtown,” says John Crawford, President and CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc. “The police department has added more people to Downtown so we know there will be increased enforcement.”
Downtown Dallas, Inc. also plans to enforce the ordinance with help from its 45 person safety patrol and 92 security cameras downtown. Panhandlers who violate the ordinance could face a $500 fine.
The effort has been championed by Downtown Dallas, Inc.’s public safety committee, chaired by Ted Hamilton. Thompson and Knight, through board member Ted Benn, provided pro bono services to research precedent and draft the proposed ordinance change.
If you want to truly make a difference this holiday season, DDI asks that you consider making a gift to organizations like the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, that ensures your money is spent on true need, for example:
- 50 provides one week of food shelter and clothing
- $75 provides shelter and services for a victim of domestic violence
- $100 provides 40 bus passes for employment