Loveland, Colorado Panhandling Ordinance Affects Firefighters

A new panhandling ordinance will put the brakes on the fire department's annual ``Fill the Boot'' fund raiser.

Each Labor Day, Loveland Fire and Rescue firefighters collect money from motorists at intersections around the city for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

``We were joking around the other day about how (the panhandling ordinance) would affect firefighters during the campaign,'' said Loveland Fire Chief Mark Miller, ``and then we stopped and realized, 'Oh. It will affect them.'''

The ordinance defines panhandling as ``soliciting a gift,'' which would apply to the firefighters.

Some cities with similar laws, like Fort Collins, allow exceptions for firefighters.

Instead of asking for a similar exception, Miller said his department will ask drivers to pull of the street or into a parking lot to donate.