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As professional panhandlers have become more and more prevalent on the street corners at several congested intersections in St. Augustine, Historic City News recommends that police adopt tactics like those used in central Florida to improve driver awareness of seat belt laws, traffic control devices and unlawful speed.

In a 2003 Orlando Sentinel news report, Osceola County deputies Dominic Rodriguez (left) and Paul Spears posed as vagrants in Kissimmee to target speeders and red light runners on Osceola Parkway at Michigan Avenue.

Spears would watch the traffic and inform Rodriguez of any violations. In turn, Rodriguez would record the tag number then alert traffic officers who were waiting down the road.

Who knows, maybe the increased police presence will displace a few of the nuisance beggars who interfere with the orderly flow of traffic and safe operation of motor vehicles in the area.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News archive photograph by Ed Sackett

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