The city of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department are set to take another swipe at downtown, Deep Ellum and Uptown's panhandling problem.
Over the past decade or so, the city has tried banning panhandling from sunset to sunup, banning it in areas with high pedestrian and tourist traffic and banning it within 25 feet of a gas pump, financial institution or public transit stop. None of it has worked.
Monday, Dallas Police told the City Council's Quality of Life Committee about its new plan to stop the practice: Signs.
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The signs, Dallas Assistant Police Chief Mike Genovesi said, will be placed in areas that see a lot of aggressive panhandling. They tell readers to "Keep the Change" and give money they would give to panhandlers to a local charity.
The city's presentation about the plan calls it a "novel approach to reducing panhandling." It isn't. Multiple businesses downtown already have signs expressing basically the same sentiment. Some cities, like Orlando and Denver, have gone so far as to put in parking meters from which all proceeds go to homeless-supporting charities. The sign just accurately reflects what even homeless advocates will tell you about how to best deal with panhandlers.
Council member Adam Medrano, who represents much of Deep Ellum, said he wants the signs as soon as possible. Dwaine Caraway said he wants DPD to put them all over the city.