Montgomery passes new panhandling ordinance

Montgomery city council passes panhandling ordinance

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Montgomery City Council passed a new ordinance Tuesday night to address what it calls a growing problem in the city: Panhandling.

The city council approved a panhandling ordinance that’s separate from a state law that’s already in place. City officials say the new ordinance defines panhandling and includes city streets and public places that the state law does not include.

The first offense will get a panhandler two days in jail unless suspended by the judge. Further offenses guarantee jail time.

“My vision, and I met again with the police several times, but even in drafting this is the first time, even not necessarily arresting them but saying, ‘Hey, we now have an ordinance on the books. If I catch you out here again I’m going to take you in and it’s going to be suspended,’," said District 7 Councilman Arch Lee. "But after that, it’s penalty on top of penalty and the penalty being time in the city jail.”

City officials say it will likely be a few weeks before the ordinance is enforced.

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