FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Springfield Police Department issued six citations Wednesday to panhandlers at a local intersection for “aggressive panhandling” to people claiming to be collecting donations for Texas flood victims. All of the subjects had Oklahoma addresses. Passive panhandling in the City of Springfield is allowable, but officers encountered what complainants reported - that these subjects who not only stood on the narrow medians, but were also walking between lanes of traffic waving stickers and soliciting funds.
As the Labor Day weekend approaches, the Springfield Fire Department warns that they no longer participate in the “fill the boot” campaigns that have occurred in the past where fire fighters collect loose change at area intersections. Safety concerns supersede that practice as well.
“Collecting and donating money at intersections is a dangerous practice,” said City Manager Greg Burris. “For those interested in supporting any cause, or person in need, the best practice is to make a donation to area charities or social service agencies.
The community project, Wheels to Work, is one program that is specifically aimed at assisting panhandlers in need with finding a different solution to earning money. The City and partners encourage direct donations by texting or calling 211.
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For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or [email protected].