Aberdeen, WA - The Downtown Parking and Business Improvement District agreed today to order signs to discourage panhandling. Police Chief Bob Torgerson said Aberdeen has no ordinance against the panhandlers "we're not saying they can't panhandle or anything else, we're just trying to inform people that the best choice is to give it to a charity that can really help people in need."
In at least one case the committee will have to approach WalMart to place a sign on their property, one of the hotspots for panhandlers in Aberdeen. The signs will cost the city between 32 and 53 dollars depending on size. Mayor Bill Simpson said the issue of panhandling seems to be getting worse in Aberdeen "You get them downtown, a little more on the aggressive side."
The Supreme court has ruled that panhandling is a form of free speech protected under the first amendment of the US Constitution.
The signs were inspired by signs found in Spokane, and say "Keep The Change, don't support panhandling." Then state under a 'no change' symbol that the majority of change given goes to drugs and alcohol. and says you can help more by giving to charity.