The Utica Police Department has received several complaints recently regarding people begging for money at various intersections throughout the city.

UPD Lieutenant Bryan Coromato says, "the section of the New York State Penal Law prohibiting loitering for the purpose of begging was repealed." There is currently no law prohibiting the behavior.

There are safety concerns for individuals begging for money due to the proximity to the road and obstruction of a roadway by any individual is unlawful and that violation will be enforced.

The Utica Police Department is advising people to not donate money to the individual panhandler, but to donate if you'd like to one of the many wonderful organizations in the area that serve those in need. Police will do their part to direct those soliciting money to the proper organization.