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Police start patrols for squeegee workers at intersections after Baltimore ban

City officials created six 'disallowed zones' for panhandling and soliciting.
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Posted at 2:33 PM, Jan 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-10 17:33:05-05

Drivers in areas of Maryland's largest city, Baltimore, may start to see less squeegee workers. They are the individuals standing at intersections asking to wash windshields for money.

Starting January 10, Baltimore police officers will be out patrolling to curb panhandling and soliciting as part of the city's "Squeegee Collaborative" plan.

Victoria Thompson, a former squeegee worker who now serves as part of the Squeegee Collaborative, helps others who are in the position she used to be in.

“It's a good opportunity for them, I look forward to, and I have an open mind because, It'll really benefit them in the long way. Keep them out of trouble, stuff like that,” Thompson said.

Baltimore created the Squeegee Collaborative after a deadly shooting in July in the city's downtown neighborhood was linked windshield washers and their interaction with drivers.

Police have say they have been stationed on a regular basis in downtown Baltimore at the intersection where that shooting happened in the months since.

Law enforcement say they have expanded that patrol to five other busy intersections in the city.

The Squeegee Collaborative established six areas known as “Disallowed Zones" where approaching drivers is banned.

As of January 10, squeegee workers will no longer be able to congregate to clean windshields at those six high traffic intersections around Baltimore.

A squeegee worker caught working in that capacity at one of the banned areas will receive two warnings, before being issued a ticket.

Before police began the disallowed zone patrols, the city held an event on Friday to help squeegee workers find other jobs.

One man, Derwin Catching, came to a hiring event, hoping to find something more permanent than working as a windshield washer on the streets.

Catching said, “squeegeeing like, things happen, it’s getting slow right now business is getting slow. So, it’s just time. Everyone is getting older now so it’s time to do better things. We need jobs.”

This story was originally published by WMAR in Baltimore, Maryland — with additions from Scripps News.