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There are many different concurrent actions being taken by different organizations to address the issue of aggressive begging.
The Everett Police Department (EPD) works to educate business owners interested in regulating conduct in their parking lots for the safety of their customers by making more effective use of their authority to enforce laws by partnering with the police department.
Additionally, the EPD and the Snohomish County Department of Human Services have partnered to hire a mental health community support specialist to serve as an embedded social worker, implementing one of the Community Streets Initiative task force recommendations. The community support specialist works with officers, including in the field, to better respond to a variety of street-level social issues, including chronically homeless individuals and individuals with mental illness who come into contact with the criminal justice system. There is also a large range of other responsibilities, including coordinating social service outreach and serving as liaison to the social service community.
In conjunction with the Streets Initiative, the Mayor’s Safe Streets proposal creates a specialized unit within the police department to work on street level social issues and criminal activity. This unit will be composed of four officers, a sergeant, an additional community support specialist and prosecutor resources.
Finally, EPD and the City of Everett are developing a public education and outreach campaign emphasizing alternatives to making direct giving to beggars. The City created a dedicated webpage to educate citizens on making charitable donations in lieu of direct giving to beggars. Also, signage is being developed to assist business owners in discouraging direct giving on their property and to provide information on how to donate.