SAN ANTONIO – After several complaints made to District 6 city officials about solicitors selling items at busy intersections, the San Antonio Police Department is cracking down.
“We have had many calls about panhandling and people selling things like bottles of water and so forth just for fundraising efforts at these intersections,” said Greg Brockhouse, councilman for District 6. “The thing that is highest on our list is safety.”
Brockhouse said though people are doing fundraising events for good causes, they are putting everyone in danger.
“It puts pedestrians at risk and drivers at risk. It is a serious hazard, and by the way, it is illegal,” Brockhouse said. “There are kids, children, walking up and down (Loop) 1604 and Culebra, and there are hundreds of cars going through there an hour.”
Other intersections include Highway 90 and Military Drive and Potranco and Culebra roads. Brockhouse said in the past couple weeks, officers have been engaging residents at the intersections and warning them, but he said now it is time to enforce the rules.
"We are warning and cautioning first to let as many people know as much as possible, and then that will turn into a citation and you don't want that,” Brockhouse said. “You don't want to have earned money and then have to pay money because you made a bad decision and didn't follow the rules."
Brockhouse said fundraising efforts can continue in a safer place under legal circumstances.
“With permission or a permit of some sort, you can sell your bottles of water or items from private properties,” Brockhouse said. “You just cannot do it in the middle of the street.”
He said the city will do its best to take care of the homeless population by offering them resources to get back on their feet.
Brockhouse said if you are not homeless and you continue to be a repeat violator of the law, you can face a fine between $50 and $500.
He said anyone with concerns or questions about how to legally solicit can call the City Call Center at 311.