City of Yakima Will Consider Changing Panhandling Legislation - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City of Yakima Will Consider Changing Panhandling Legislation

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YAKIMA, Wash.--Yakima's City Council is considering drafting a new ordinance which will change aggressive panhandling from an infraction to a misdemeanor.

This way people can file a complaint and police will have to follow up.

The city said this is all part of an effort to crack down on panhandling and improve public safety.

"A lot of great Yakima hearts out there want to help, and they just really need to realize the difference between people who need help and people who are looking to take advantage of their kindness," said Yakima Council Member Dave Ettl. "We think that education process will help."

The city could also install "giving meters" to encourage people to stop donating directly to panhandlers. All money collected in the meters will go to homeless shelters and services.

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