Police: panhandling not illegal in Sioux Falls

Published: Mar. 6, 2020 at 4:28 PM CST
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Sioux Falls police are issuing a reminder about the city's panhandling laws.

Police say they have received a number of complaints lately about people asking for money along streets or at interstate exits. It is not illegal.

The only time police say it is a problem, is when either the person asking for money becomes aggressive or if the activity begins backing up traffic.

“There's nothing illegal about standing somewhere with a sign, is what it boils down to. Where the problem comes in is when people are giving things from their car, in traffic. That’s part of city ordinance. It’s not so much that they're out there with a sign, trying to get items from motorists, it's that they're collecting it from motorists in traffic, is where the problem is,” said Sgt. Travis Olsen.

Police say if you do stop to give someone money, pull over to the side of the road. In addition, asking people walking on the sidewalk for money is not illegal either, unless the person panhandling becomes aggressive.