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 APD Officers Focus Citation Efforts on Illegal Panhandling 


Police Department

Anchorage Police Department

Press Release

October 1, 2013

Contact:  Jennifer Castro

APD Public Information Officer

786-8571 Office


Subject: APD Officers Focus Citation Efforts on Illegal Panhandling  

For the safety of all Anchorage drivers and pedestrians, the Anchorage Police Department is encouraging motorists to donate money to local charities rather than panhandlers. According to Municipal Code, it is illegal for motorists to provide funds to panhandlers and it is illegal for panhandlers to accept donations from motorists while in the roadway. 

This week officers with the APD Community Action Policing team will be focusing citation efforts on illegal panhandlers and any motorists providing them money. The fine for a panhandling violation is $50 plus a $10 surcharge.

What a panhandler can do:

  • They can stand in a public walkway and hold a sign (this is constitutionally protected activity).
  • They can receive donations from other pedestrians.

What a panhandler can NOT do:

  • They can not block or obstruct other pedestrians.
  •  They can not be aggressive or in a group.
  • They can not be in the roadway; including the median.
  •  They can not accept donations from motorists while in the roadway (both panhandler and motorist can be cited).

Municipal Codes Regarding Panhandling

9.20.060 Pedestrians soliciting rides or business.

A. No person may solicit a ride or other favor or engage in other conduct in a manner which unduly distracts a driver's attention.

B. No pedestrian upon a roadway may solicit employment or business, or solicit or collect contributions from the occupant of a vehicle on the roadway.

C. The prohibitions of this section shall include the causing, securing, aiding or abetting of another person to do an act prohibited by A and B of this section.

(CAC 9.20.060; AO No. 78-72; AO No. 89-52; AO No. 2003-87, § 1, 7-8-03)

Pedestrian means any person afoot, or any handicapped person who is operating a mechanical device which affords mobility similar to a person afoot, including but not limited to wheelchairs and walkers, or who is using a means of conveyance propelled by human power other than a bicycle.

(CAC 9.04.360; AO No. 78-72; AO No. 89-52)


Please also see Municipal Code 8.75.170 Prohibited Panhandling.



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