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Deputies give out warnings to panhandlers

Posted at 5:31 PM, Apr 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-26 20:31:35-04
The Pima County Sheriff's Department is cracking down on panhandling. Deputies spent the day warning the community about new rules coming to county medians. Next month, they'll begin arresting people for trespassing at 14 different intersections on the northwest side that have a heavy homeless presence.
 
After 'No Trespass' signs go up, they say violators will be arrested for loitering on the  medians. The Sheriff's Department says panhandling is more than just a nuisance for drivers.
 
"It's a safety issue," said deputy Danny Sharp. "We get a lot of calls about people walking out into the street either because it's too hot or because they're going out into the lanes to grab a dollar so it's a safety issue."
 
But, for the some homeless community, the new rule leaves them with no where to go.
 
"I do believe it's kind of unfair," said William Francis. "We get a really bad rap. Life's hard enough as it is, we get a lot of shaking heads a lot of ugliness but at the same time it's also reassured a lot of my faith in humanity. There are a lot of nice people out there who are genuinely just out to help and you know when you're already this far down it's really nice to see that."
 
The department of transportation hopes to get the ordinance approved by the Board of Supervisors on May 17th.