PAWTUCKET â€” In the wake of a recent crackdown by the City Council on those collecting money and/or panhandling on city streets, one local sports team president is raising an objection to the ban and also questioning what this means to the national firefightersâ€™ â€śFill the Bootâ€ť campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Citing public safety concerns, the council voted by a majority last week to request that Pawtucket Police begin a more stringent enforcement of an existing city ordinance that prohibits solicitation on any public roadways (Councilor Timothy Rudd was the dissenting vote). The decision follows previous discussions among councilors regarding motorists being approached for money while at stop lights or highway entrances.
City officials noted the proliferation in recent years of children from dance and gymnastic schools, sports teams and other recreational organizations doing fundraising on busy streets with little or no adult supervision. Also, while street begging is nothing new, they say there has been more of it going on at local highway on- and off-ramps, sometimes even causing traffic to back up on Interstate 95.
Full story appears on page A1 of Wednesday's Times.