How Battle Creek’s Panhandling Ordinance Aids Police
Certainly there are opposing opinions about how Battle Creek's recently passed panhandling ordinance. Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker acknowledges why, but says from a law enforcement perspective, it gives officers tools to act - and perhaps uncover more serious crimes.
Blocker also tells WBCK the greater concern, as it relates to public safety, are the panhandlers police do not know. That is, those who are transient, perhaps staying in hotels and moving on after they've hit up local residents for money.
Blocker also cites a recent case in which panhandling led to the discovery of a local human trafficking operation. The ordinance was not yet law at the time, but noticing a panhandler who did not seem familiar to law enforcement caught their attention.
Hear his comments by clicking the player below.