Saturday, July 3, 2010

More Police Roll Playing

Last Wednesday I participated in another half day of roll playing to help train new police officers. This is always an opportunity for me to learn more about police operations for my writing while contributing to the training of new officers. My assignment this time was to panhandle in a park. I traded off with one other person—one time being the panhandler and the next being the person accosted. Panhandling isn’t a crime. A crime occurs with what is termed “aggressive begging”—when the panhandler doesn’t take no for an answer the first time and keeps pestering the other person. In the city of Boulder, Colorado, where I live, the only other offense is panhandling on a median divider of a street. This is considered unsafe. During my stint as a panhandler, I received two citations and was arrested and cuffed once. I had a pocket knife and that was confiscated the time I was arrested. So panhandling follows the same rule as sexual encounters. One someone says, “no,” it’s time to back off.

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