County Executive John R. Leopold Launches Panhandling Information Campaign
Annapolis (August 29, 2007) - Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold will launch an information campaign directed to county panhandlers who will no longer be able to solicit donations in roadways or on roadway medians in the county effective October 1, 2007 thanks to a Maryland General Assembly measure pushed by the County Executive last April.
"This is an issue of public safety for both vehicle drivers and those who position themselves along the County’s busiest roads," said County Executive Leopold.
Beginning Saturday, September 1, county police officers will begin the 4-week campaign by distributing informational flyers about the new law. Police officers will be focusing their efforts on those soliciting donations by approaching vehicles on public streets and roads.
The law prohibits the solicitation of donations in the median strip on any road or highway in the county. Effective October 1, violators could receive a citation with a fine up to $500.
The flyer also informs any persons needing assistance with food, shelter, or basic needs within Annapolis area to call the Annapolis Area Ministries on 206 West Street at 410-263-1835 and outside of the Annapolis area, the Arundel House of Hope on 514 N. Crain Highway at 410-863-4888.
"While it is important to remove panhandlers from our roadways, we should at the same time extend a helping hand to those truly needy citizens who need homeless assistance," said Mr. Leopold.