San Antonio City Council this week will tackle what it calls 'Quality of Life' issues, including dealing with those 'cardboard sign' panhandles on street corners, as well as public drunkenness, prostitution, and graffiti, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
Among the proposals is a plan to make it crime to give money to panhandlers.
A Council committee will be updated on the first phase of a plan being implemented by the Police Department to deal with crimes that are more annoying than dangerous, like the beggars who walk into traffic at busy intersections asking for cash, what the council calls 'chronic' quality of life issues
Among the proposals on the table:
A pilot program to identify ten chronic panhandlers and convince them to voluntarily commit themselves for treatment.
Boosting the penalty for public intoxication from a Class C misdemeanor, which is a traffic ticket, to a Class B, which involves jail time.
Establish a 'mobile crisis outreach team' to deal with mentally ill/substance abuse panhandlers for housing and treatment purposes.
Rapidly discovering and dismantling homeless camps citywide.
A city wide 'zero tolerance' program on panhandlers, which includes weekly roundups and arrests.
Create programs with neighborhood associations to address graffiti problems, including tracking incidents of graffiti and establishing a program to respond quickly to reports of graffiti vandals.
Discourage hourly sales of hotel and motel rooms to damage the operations of prostitution rings.
Develop 'alternatives to arrest' for prostitutes, including deferred adjudication and reduced bonds in exchange for entry into rehab.
A major crack down on vehicle burglaries is also planned, especially along the I-10 corridor near The Rim, Six Flags, and La Cantera.