Ask Capt. Oliveira: Police Policy on Panhandling?

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

“With the better weather, I’m seeing more and more panhandlers standing at the entrances of shopping centers in Natomas, many with small children. I was wondering what the Sacramento Police Dept. policy is on this.”

As a general proposition, panhandling is constitutionally protected. In 2017, the city of Sacramento adopted an ordinance prohibiting aggressive and intrusive solicitation. Shortly thereafter, the ACLU and Legal Services of Northern California filed suit and the federal judge blocked the city from enforcing the aggressive panhandling ordinance. Following the lawsuit, the City Council voted to take the ordinance off the books. The panhandler would need to be committing some type of crime for officers to be able to take enforcement action, (e.g., assault, criminal threats, and robbery).

—Capt. Oliveira

Capt. Steve Oliveira oversees the Sacramento Police Dept.’s north-area command, which includes Natomas. To submit your questions to Capt. Oliveira, send an email to [email protected] with “Ask Capt. Oliveira” in the subject line.

Speak Your Mind