Back in December we told you about Larimer County Commissioners passing new ordinances on restricting panhandling. Well, those new restrictions are now in effect.

Read on to find out how the Sheriff's office plans to phase in enforcement of the ordinance and what could happen to those that choose to ignore the new rules.According to a Larimer County Sheriff's Office press release, the Sheriff has implemented a three-step process:

The first phase of the plan, which started last month upon publication of the ordinance, had deputies handing out educational flyers and talking with affected individuals explaining the ordinance...

Phase two of the plan, started this week, calls for issuing written warnings to violators.  The warnings will hopefully serve as a strong reminder that there are now new restrictions to where panhandling can occur.  An educational flyer is provided along with the warning.   The warnings are recorded and repeat violators will be issued a summons.

The final phase of the plan is to start issuing a summons to violators.  Violation of the ordinance is a Class 2 Petty Offense which requires a mandatory court appearance and may result in the assessment of surcharges/fines.

The new ordinance doesn't actually prohibit panhandling but just restricts where it can happen. You can read the ordinance in it full, legal-jargon-filled glory here.

Back in December we took a poll to find out how many people actually give money to panhandlers. Check out the results below (as of 1/10/13, 3:34PM).

TSM, Fort Collins

Featured image by TravelingOtter, Flickr.