City in Colorado Tackles Panhandling with Surveillance
Fort Collins, Colorado is taking new steps to enforce an ordinance against panhandling. The city's police department has set up mobile surveillance cameras at intersections where panhandlers are disrupting traffic. Panhandlers often walk out into intersections at red lights and attempt to finagle spare change from drivers. Police officers with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office see their behavior as a safety hazard, and are turning to surveillance to keep an eye on panhandling activity at targeted intersections around the city. Panhandlers can expect a considerable fine of $1,000 for engaging in the act.
Police are able to access live camera feeds remotely from their laptop while patrolling in their squad cars. Because of recent cuts, the police department isn't able to assign any of its deputies to monitor these intersections on foot. However, the presence of surveillance cameras at busy lights has already reduced the amount of panhandling. Police are confident that these new cameras will continue to deter panhandlers from entering intersections, and are impressed with the results thus far. Learn more about Fort Collins' surveillance project by watching this video: