CHEYENNE, WY (FOX 11) - A police department in Wyoming received backlash after posting a photo to Facebook discouraging people from giving money to panhandlers and asking them to donate money to local charities instead.
The Cheyenne Police Department posted a photo showing $234.94 in cash and change along with a cardboard sign reading "Broke need help God bless."
The department wrote on Facebook, "Yesterday we arrested a transient for public intoxication. This is a person we frequently deal with, but we want to illustrate that there are better ways to help the transient population than to give them money for panhandling. This person collected $234.94 in just a few hours of asking for money. Rather than feeding someone's alcohol addiction, you can donate directly to local charities where your money will assist the homeless in a much more effective way."
The post went viral with thousands of comments and it was shared over 30,000 times.
One person wrote, " I will give MY money to whoever I please. You're seriously telling us, like we're children, how we should treat people?"
Another said, "I personally find this an egregious overstep of what the CPD should do. Who is it in their department that feels like they can assert their opinion on this matter, as if it is fact?"
However some people supported the police department's decision, with one person writing, "Bravo. Personally I don't want to be responsible for handing over the dollar that helps to buy the drug that causes an overdose."
Another person wrote "All you wanted to do was give people wisdom and a better way to support our homeless. I love this post."
After all the attention, the department added a clarification saying that this particular person was arrested for public intoxication, having an open container of alcohol, urinating in public and refusing to obey commands. They added that the money of course is his and will be returned to him when he is released from jail.
They also made another Facebook post which can be read below.
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