CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — An ordinance barring people from begging for money could be expanded in a Tennessee city.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports Chattanooga City Council members say panhandlers are a problem. Chattanooga police Chief David Roddy briefed council members Tuesday on progress toward a revised panhandling ordinance they may be asked to approve soon.

Chattanooga’s existing ordinance was passed in 2002. It forbids begging in the downtown tourism and restaurant district, but many business owners say it has not stopped panhandlers.

Roddy says a citywide ordinance could have officers give panhandlers a $50 ticket. Officers could also check whether they are wanted or to offer those homeless and helpless services. Those arrested under a state law banning touching, following or intimidating people in attempts to get money could be jailed instead.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press,

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