Taking action against aggressive panhandlers

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Picture this. You're walking down the street and a homeless person asks you for money, and asks again and again and makes you feel uneasy. What can you do? If you are in West Palm Beach the answer is document it, according to local Blogger Aaron Wormus.

"When you have someone who's really aggressive or someone who's just sitting somewhere yelling at people it's something that's very uncomfortable," Wormus explained. So Wormus suggests calling the West Palm Beach non-emergency number to get the incident into the city's system.

"They do really respond once you communicate with them, in a proper way and get that on the record," he said.

Once an incident is documented the city can analyze the data they've collected to identify problems and hone in on areas of concern. But when it comes to aggressive panhandling, it's a little more complicated. According to the city, police have to witness aggressive behaviors, but say citizens should still report specific incidents.

"I'm a guy who shouldn't be concerned about walking past someone," Wormus said. He hopes as more people call to report specific incidents, the more likely the city to take action.

"The homeless problem is not one that's easy to solve," Wormus explained. "The problem is not just going to go away. it's something that we have to figure out how to mitigate and live with."

West Palm Beach Police Department non-emergency: 561-822-1900

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