Panhandling in Findlay has been visibly on the rise over the last few years. Arguments point out that begging for money is not illegal. If it was illegal, we all have that one relative that we would gladly turn in. Additionally, holding up a sign that reads, “Will work for food,” is protected by this country’s constitutional 1st amendment. With all of this being said, many believe that panhandlers cause problems in the community and that we should stay ahead of the issue.
In 2006, Findlay passed a law addressing the action of panhandling. To legally beg in Findlay, a panhandler is required to register for a permit with the police department. A person must show a photo ID to police; pay $8.50 to obtain a state ID; or be fingerprinted and photographed by the department. The panhandler is then issued a card that they are required to carry.
Generally, there are two types of panhandlers: passive and aggressive. If any panhandler is caught doing any of the below it could result in a registration being revoked and chance of arrest.

Taken 4/13/16: A man attempting to open someone’s car door after our witness saw him kicking at other cars at the corner of Western Ave and Main Cross.
Here are the applicable panhandling laws:
No person shall panhandle in any of the following manners:
(a)   By coming within three feet (3′) of the person solicited after that person has indicated that he/she does not wish to make a donation;
(b)   By blocking the path of a person who attempts to walk or drive away from the panhandler;
(c)   By following a person who walks away from the panhandler;
(d)   By making unreasonable noise or offensively coarse utterance, gesture, or display or communicating unwarranted and grossly abusive language, either during the solicitation or following a refusal;
(e)   By panhandling in a group of two or more persons; or
(f)   By any statement, gesture, or other communication which a reasonable person in the situation of the person solicited would perceive to be a threat.
(Ord. 2006-066.  Passed 9-19-06.)
No person shall panhandle by soliciting a person in any of the following places:
(a)   At any bus stop;
(b)   In any public transportation vehicle or facility;
(c)   In any vehicle within the public right-of-way;
(d)   Within twenty feet (20′) of any entrance or exit of any bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or check cashing business during its business hours or within twenty feet (20′) of any automated teller machine during the time it is available for customers’ use;
(e)   In or at any hall or theater owned or operated by a political subdivision;
(f)   On private property, unless the panhandler has permission from the owner or occupant.
(Ord. 2006-066.  Passed 9-19-06.)
No person shall panhandle after sunset or before sunrise. The times of sunset and of sunrise shall be as published by the United States Naval Observatory.
It also forbids panhandlers from faking any sort of condition, injury, need or veteran status.
If you witness a violation, you should report it the Findlay Police Department, especially if you can catch it on video. Findlay residents are encouraged to donate to local charities like City Mission and Chopin Hall.  Any panhandlers who are truly in need can seek help with these charities.
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Panhandlers provoke complaints
Findlay Panhandler

Few utilize panhandling law

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