Proposed panhandling ordinance in Tifton meant to ensure safety

Proposed panhandling ordinance in Tifton meant to ensure safety
The main problem areas council members are noticing are downtown and at the corner of large supermarkets. (Source: WALB)
The main problem areas council members are noticing are downtown and at the corner of large supermarkets. (Source: WALB)
Mayor Julie Smith (Source: WALB)
Mayor Julie Smith (Source: WALB)

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - After receiving many complaints from citizens, the city of Tifton is revamping its panhandling ordinance to make sure you aren't hassled by people asking for money.

On Monday night, the council said that it has looked into other cities panhandling ordinances all over the state and realized that it's a problem statewide, not just in South Georgia.

But the main problem areas they are noticing are downtown and at the corner of large supermarkets like the Neighborhood Walmart.

This ordinance will regulate and limit access for panhandlers and others begging for money at entrances and exits of businesses and public places.

But the council also brought up that charitable organizations that are fundraising in the community and seasonable operations like the Salvation Army bell ringers will not be affected by this ordinance.

"That those who are using our roads, our streets and our sidewalks are safe and that nobody feels threatened or that there's no aggressiveness or anything like that in regard to those that are asking for assistance," explained Smith.

This ordinance hasn't been approved just yet.

The council will take two weeks to review it and it will be on the next meeting agenda. Until then, council members urge people to call 911 if they feel unsafe because of someone panhandling.

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