Dallas police announce panhandling crackdown in downtown

The Dallas Police Department on Monday announced an effort to rid the downtown area of people aggressively asking for money on the street.

The department said its "quality of life" initiative was in going into full effect immediately and will operate 16-hours a day, seven days a week.

Officials said the initiative is not aimed at stopping people from giving, but rather, re-directing them to more legal giving options.

Complaints have surged in recent months from downtown residents and workers about an uptick in the number of panhandlers and their aggressiveness.

“If you want to give then please seek out an organization. There are many out there that would be willing to accept your donations and to utilize those donations for those who are needy,” said DPD Assistant Chief Gary Tittle.

Panhandling is illegal in Dallas and is classified as a class c misdemeanor. Police said they'll detain and possibly arrest violators.

Police said people should call 911 if they see anyone aggressively panhandling.