Ventura police ignite debate with video advising residents not to give to panhandlers

VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) -- A post to the Ventura Police Department Facebook page has gone viral, igniting a debate over how to treat panhandlers.

In the video, an officer displays messages written on cardboard that advise residents not to give to panhandlers. "Please don't give to panhandlers," one message says.

The video suggests giving to panhandlers is counterproductive, saying that it feeds addictions.
The messages tell people to instead give to charities, which are working on long-term solutions to the problems, such as providing meals, medical attention and housing services.

"Say no to panhandling, say yes to charities," reads the final message.

Many of the comments on the viral video are supportive of police efforts, but some note charities are not enough to solve the issue.
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