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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Kennedale has a new ?panhandling? ordinance

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Kennedale defines solicitation as asking, begging or pleading, whether orally or in written or printed manner or with an object for the purpose of receiving contributions, alms, charity, or gifts of items of value for oneself or another person. It now has a city ordinance that restricts unauthorized solicitation. {{more:[Read More]}}
it doesn’t bar youth car washes …
What does that mean? It means that if a youth group has a car wash at local business with prior approval, it is acceptable for them to solicit patrons of that business or others to contribute. But if an individual in front of a business or other designated public places solicits money or items of value without approval, that would be illegal and the individual could be subject to arrest and fined.
Kennedale Police Chief Tommy Williams put the problem in perspective when he asked the city council to consider the new ordinance.
a means to increase safety and reduce crime …
?With the new development of businesses on Kennedale Parkway at I-20, we have seen an increase in the number of homeless persons begging, or panhandling, patrons for money. Some have gone so far as to park their car at gas pumps and walk the lot soliciting store customers for money until they get enough to fill their gas tanks. We have also had instances of these same people stealing purses and wallets from unsecured vehicles while the driver was present. They will remove property from the passenger side window while the driver is preoccupied with filling the tank on the other side of the vehicle. This has caused a number of people to express feelings of being unsafe while on the premises. We are proposing a panhandling ordinance to prohibit this type of behavior as a means to increase safety and reduce crime. With the new McDonald’s being built, this traffic will likely continue to increase unless we act proactively to discourage this type of activity.?
Some discussion was made of the area under the I20 Bridge but Chief Williams pointed out that this is an area that is out of the Kennedale?s jurisdiction. Williams said that the first time would probably be a warning, a second offense would be a citation but he said that every case is different. Sometimes it may mean transporting an indevidual who needs addition help, i.e. mental health issues.
prevents solicitation within 50ft of designated areas …
Williams emphasized that this is an ordinance that protects businesses from having these individuals interfering with their operation and patrons who just want to be left alone.
The ordinance prevents solicitation within 50 feet of an automated teller machine; entrance/exit of a bank, credit union or other financial institution; self-service fuel pump; self-service car wash; outdoor dining area of a fixed establishment; playground equipment; a concession stand; or a public swimming pool.
does not stop panhandling everywhere …
Williams did say that this does not outlaw panhandling everywhere. That is still an individual right as say on a public sidewalk.
Ordinance #602 passed unanimously

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