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Enid Police Warns Panhandlers Could Be Prosecuted

We have all seen panhandlers when they hold signs outside the businesses we frequent. The Enid Police Department said recently in a Facebook post that they have received a plethora of complaints from local businesses about panhandlers. A panhandler is someone who solicits money outside of businesses or near a roadway.

While panhandling and soliciting for money isn’t expressly illegal in Enid, it is illegal if it is done in front of a roadway an Enid city ordinance says”no person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, donation, employment or business from the occupant of any vehicle”.

As for soliciting money in front of businesses, many local businesses have requested that the police trespass anyone who is panhandling in front of their business. But what about those who panhandle who really are in need? The police said in the post that “food, shelter, and assistance are available to those in need from many charitable organizations and churches”.

Many resources do exist for the homeless in Enid like those offered by Forgotten Ministries or the Salvation Army, as well as services offered by other organizations. However, if you do wish to give money to a panhandler the Enid PD suggests that you have the money already in hand and that you do not show a panhandler your wallet or purse.

If you think a case of panhandling has violated the law you can call the Enid Police Department’s non-emergency number at 580-242-7000 and provide any relevant information.