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San Francisco Police Begin Enforcing Sit/Lie Law

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Homeless man in San Francisco (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A homeless man in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) – San Francisco police officers have started enforcing the city’s new ban on sitting and lying on the sidewalk.

In November, voters approved the sit/lie law, which makes it illegal to hang out on San Francisco sidewalks between 7 am and 11 pm.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Finally, after a few months of training, police officers are starting to enforce the law, giving verbal or written warnings for now.

Steve has been sitting on the Haight Street sidewalk for 40 years and got his first warning on Tuesday.

“The cops said that the first time, we get admonished. And then after that, they’ll start filling out tickets,” he said. “They only have a select few that they’re going to choose to do that with.”

Those tickets will start at $50 and could escalate to $500 or even jail time.

Bar owner Brian Molony owns Martin Mack’s and is one of the founders of the new Haight Ashbury Merchants Association.

He said he hasn’t noticed an impact yet, but he hopes the law will help police clean up the Haight, especially at the corner of Haight and Masonic.

“Businesses there really have a hard time,” he said. “People don’t want to walk over people who are peeing on the street. The whole thing is a disaster there.”

Officers who are patrolling the beat said for now, they will direct people to city services and not hand out tickets.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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