Paterson passes law to ban panhandling at drive-through windows | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Paterson passes law to ban panhandling at drive-through windows

By Jayed Rahman
Published: March 17, 2019


The City Council has passed an ordinance to prohibit panhandling at drive-through windows.

Council members enacted the law following a public hearing without opposition on Tuesday night.

“Hopefully, this will be an effort to curb people from utilizing drive-thrus to raise money for their habits,” said councilman Michael Jackson, main sponsor of the measure, referring to drug addicts.

Public safety director Jerry Speziale last month told council members the measure is aimed at closing a loophole in a 2014 ordinance that forbid vagrants, gangs, and others from blocking the entrance of a business.

However, the five-year-old ordinance did not cover obstruction of drive-through and walk-up windows.

Violators face a maximum fine of $2,000, 90 days jail time, or 90 days of community service, according to the ordinance.

“This is a tool so that police do not have to wait for the restaurant owner to call. They see them — there’s enforcement,” added councilman Luis Velez.

Council members approved the measure in a 9-0 vote.

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