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Published: March 9, 2020


FLORENCE POLICE CHIEF RON TYLER TOOK TO SOCIAL MEDIA TO ADDRESS THE NUMEROUS COMPLAINTS THAT HAVE RECEIVED REGARDING PANHANDLING IN THE DOWNTOWN BUSINESS DISTRICT. THESE COMPLAINTS HAVE COME FROM BUSINESS OWNERS, CUSTOMERS, VISITORS, AND COLLEGE STUDENTS. IN RESPONSE TO THESE COMPLAINTS OFFICERS WITH FLORENCE POLICE DEPARTMENT HAVE REPEATEDLY WARNED SUSPECTED PAN-HANDLERS THAT PANHANDLING IS ILLEGAL. DESPITE THE WARNINGS, THE COMPLAINTS AND PAN-HANDLING ACTIVITY HAVE CONTINUED AND RECENTLY ESCALATED TO A CITIZEN BEING ROBBED AT KNIFE POINT.  THE FLORENCE POLICE HAVE DEVELOPED A STRATEGY TO CURB PANHANDLING IN THE DOWNTOWN BUSINESS DISTRICT WHICH INVOLVES BOTH UNIFORMED AND PLAIN CLOTHED OFFICERS AND TARGETS THOSE WHO COMMIT THE CRIME OF LOITERING. THIS STRATEGY HAS BEEN IN PLACE SINCE THE CITIZEN WAS ROBBED WALKING TO HIS CAR ON JANUARY 14TH.