• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 21s

Anchorage police to enforce panhandling law

By Kirsten Swann 9:35 PM October 1, 2013

Department announces it will "focus citation efforts," officers hesitant to fine offenders

ANCHORAGE - Panhandling is targeted by a number of municipal ordinances, which prohibit stepping into the roadway to solicit donations as well as passing money through vehicle windows to panhandlers on the side of the road. Police said it’s a matter of public safety: Especially in the winter, officers said panhandling is hazardous for both drivers and pedestrians alike.

But Lt. Gerry Gilliam, who oversees the Anchorage Police Department’s Community Action Policing team, said the department has never issued many citations in relation to the law, which has been on the books for nearly ten years.

“Anecdotally, we have a few,” Gilliam said. “We have, in the past, stopped individuals who have collected money in the roadway, as well as drivers.”

He said many Anchorage residents still aren’t aware of the laws, though, and officers would often issue warnings rather than citations for violating the longstanding ordinances.

In 2011, the department partnered with several other local agencies to launch “Change for the Better,” a public relations campaign encouraging motorists to donate to Anchorage charities and non-profits rather than street corner panhandlers. In connection with that campaign, the police department announced it would begin distributing informational cards to people caught breaking the law, and eventually begin issuing citations to donating drivers.

Today, Gilliam said he didn’t know how many citations the department had issued over the law’s lifetime, but that it was something officers tried to avoid.

“We don’t always just necessarily cite the first time we talk to somebody,” he said. “We try to educate them.”

The fine for a first-time offense is $60.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Native art fair draws crowds to Dena’ina Center

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 23, 22:27

    The Alaska Federation of Natives convention brings Alaska Native leaders from around the state, but it also brings crafters and artisans. For many people, the Alaska Native Customary Art Fair is one of their favorite parts of the AFN convention. This year, the selection is better than ever. Hundreds of booths line the first floor […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Oct. 23

    by Carlos Faura on Oct 23, 22:22

    Kenai Peninsula – There will be isolated rain and snow on the Kenai with scattered showers from Anchorage north. Southeast - Expect rain to the south and a shower or two for the northern areas, with snow at pass levels. Interior & North Slope – It will be mostly dry with a flurry or two, […]

  • News

    Totem pole artist carves out a piece of history

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 23, 21:28

    A totem pole isn’t just a work of art for Tommy Joseph; it’s carving out a little piece of history. “That’s what a totem pole is all about is I’m telling someone’s story,” he said. “Everyone has a story.” On a warm morning in Sitka, he methodically chips away at a 10-foot cedar pole. He […]

  • Politics

    Show Me the Money: Marijuana Legalization

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 23, 21:00

      Show Me the Money: Alaska’s Fiscal Future Four issues that could change the fortunes of Alaska… Four issues that have divided us… Four issues that will unite us as we go to the polls Nov. 4th… How can you prosper in the ever-changing landscape of living life in the 49th state?   Oct. 9 @ 9 […]

  • News

    Investigators focus on pilot error in deadly 2013 plane crash

    by Dave Leval on Oct 23, 20:22

    It’s been more than a year since two people died in a plane crash at Merrill Field. Rob Lilly and his girlfriend, Jessi Nelsen, died when they tried to land after taking off from Wasilla Aug. 24, 2013. The second phase of a federal investigation into the crash found no mechanical errors with the plane. […]

  • News

    Feds to bring indoor plumbing to Alaska village

    by Associated Press on Oct 23, 15:49

    A remote Alaska village where only half the homes have indoor plumbing is among rural communities nationwide to receive a share of more than $352 million in grants and loans for upgrades to rural water and wastewater systems. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Alaska’s $12.6 million share of the funding from the U.S. Department of […]

  • News

    Governor signs bill to recognize Native languages

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 23, 15:39

    The number of official languages in the State of Alaska has gone from one to 21 with a single stroke of a pen. Gov. Sean Parnell signed HB216 in front of a cheering crowd at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention Thursday morning. The bill recognizes 20 Native languages, and adds them to English as […]

  • Crime

    Police: Pit bull death ‘extreme’ animal cruelty

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 23, 15:17

    Police are asking for help investigating the death of a dog found hanging from a tree near the University of Alaska Anchorage earlier this month. A man walking in the woods near East 20th Avenue and Rosemary Street made the gruesome discovery Oct. 10, according to a Thursday afternoon statement from the Anchorage Police Department. […]