COLD CASES. PANHANDLING IS ILLEGAL – BUT YOU STILL SEE PEOPLE BEGGING FOR FOOD AND MONEY AT INTERSECTIONS. NOW ALBUQUERQUE POLICE ARE WORKING ON A WAY TO STOP THEM. AND IT DOESN’T INVOLVE JAIL. NANCY LAFLIN SPOKE TO THE CHIEF ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT’S NEW PROGRAM. ON STREET CORNER… AFTER STREET CORNER. YOU’LL FIND TRAFFIC. LIGHTS. AND SIGNS. MANY OF THOSE SIGNS NOT HELD UP BY POSTS …BUT BY PEOPLE. SOT “i think it’s an issue because I think it’s a sad that that we have people in this country that actually have to do that.” PEOPLE ASKING STRANGERS FOR FOOD, MONEY OR GAS. BUT IN ALBUQUERQUE.. PANHANDLING IS MORE THAN JUST SAD. IT IS ALSO ILLEGAL. “so city leaders say they’re trying to come up with a plan…a program to address this issue..they say they hope to have something in place in the next couple of weeks.” POLICE CHIEF GORDEN EDEN SAYS IT WON’T MEAN POLICE JUST GOING OUT AND ARRESTING PANHANDLERS …BUT INSTEAD REACHING OUT TO THEM. “our goal is if these people have valid needs…sometimes their signs aren’t exactly accurate about what they need… but if we can get them help..that’s what we’re going to do first.” HELPING PEOPLE GET FOOD, SHELTER OR MEDICAL CARE. FRED HORZON THAT’S A GOOD START. HE’S LIVED IN SEATTLE AND ALBUQUERQUE..AND SAYS HE’S SEEING MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ON THE STREETS..BEGGING FOR HELP. IF HE HAD HIS WISH…. “make sure in this country that there are no people who live in poverty… and that there are no people who are homeless…and that there are no people who are forced to panhandle on the streets.” BUT UNTIL THAT HAPPENS …THE CHIEF SAYS HIS OFFICERS WILL WORK WITH SOCIAL SERVICE PROGRAMS AND SHELTERS …TO GET HELP FOR PEOPLE WHO DESPERATELY NEED IT. NANCY LAFLIN KOAT ACTION 7 NEWS. THE CHIEF SAYS PANHANDLING CAN ALSO BE DANGEROUS…FOR THE PEOPLE DOING IT, AND FOR DRIVERS.