Monday night the Rockford City Council took a first vote regarding new panhandling rules. The ordinance would make it illegal to solicit money at a bus stop, in a parked or stopped vehicle, at a sidewalk cafe, or in a public parking garage. Then there are some limitations as to how far away the person requesting money has to be from you or certain facilities. But after hours panhandling becomes a public safety issue. Meaning no one should be approached in the dark.
Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson says, “After bar closing hours or during the middle of the night it becomes a more criminal violation cause we've had individuals that try to get into cars, not allowing individuals to get into their own vehicle."
Rockford City Council will take a final vote on this panhandling ordinance Monday, September 25th.