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Police notice ‘distinct change’ in panhandling since ordinance suspended

August 23, 2019


PAUSE FOR SOT OPEN ON CAM — ERIC — YOU MIGHT HAVE NOTICED AN UPTICK IN PANHANDLERS HERE IN MADISON. THEY’VE BEEN SPOTTED IN BUSINESS AREAS ON BOTH THE EAST AND WEST SIDES. VO/ANIM — ERIC — LEAH LINSCHEID JOINS US WITH THE CITY’S SAYING ABOUT THE RECENT INCREASE. MC CORNER — LEAH — OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS – POLICE HAVE NOTICED A CHANGE IN PANHANDLING. THAT COMES AFTER A DISTINCT CHANGE IN CITY POLICY ABOUT 6 MONTHS AGO. PKG P- 1 VO TRACK Near busy intersections and malls – at peak traffic hours – signs of homelessness crop up in Madison. Except – 1 SOT ((( , ” Homeless shelter 16:43 “A lot of panhandlers are not homeless.” “))) 2 VO TRACK Executive Director Steve Schooler – says the Porchlight Homeless Shelter has conducted studies in the past showing a majority of panhandlers – have never used the services available here in Madison. So if they’re not homeless – how is this allowed? 2 SOT ((( , “City attorney 20:15 “Court cases came along in the last couple years that raised problems with our use of the ordinance” “))) 3 VO TRACK Madison’s ordinance prohibiting panhandling – was suspended in January at the request of the city attorney’s office. 3 SOT ((( , “City attorney 21:00 “Recommandation to the police department that they discontinue issuing citations until we got better legal direction from the courts” 21:09 “))) 4 VO TRACK Recent court cases – put the legality of the ordinance into question – and since then – without the threat of citations – panhandlers have popped up at many of Madison’s intersections. 4 SOT ((( , “City attorney 21:26 “Where we’re unable to enforce the ordinances, people are going to do more panhandling” “))) 1 SOT ((( , “Homeless shelter 18:00 “the panhandling itself is a much harder problem to solve” “))) 2 VO TRACK Until the courts clarify their rulings – panhandling will not be moving anytime soon – but Schooler says – next time you’re here – don’t hand over the cash so fast. 2 SOT ((( , “”If you want to give them food – give them food or clothing – but we would advise not to give them cash” 17:38 “))) MC CORNER — LEAH — THE CITY ATTORNEY SAYS MADISON IS TAKING A LOOK AT DIFFERENT ORDINANCES TO SIDE-STEP THOSE COURT CASES… OPTIONS LIKE PROHIBITING STANDING IN A STREET MEDIAN. HE SAYS THAT MIGHT CUT DOWN ON PANHANDLING WITHOUT TESTING THE LEGALITY OF THAT CURRENT ORDINANCE ON THE BOOKS. TAKE DOUBLE BOX — ERIC — THANKS, LEAH.

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