Allen Parish cracking down on door-to-door salesmen

By By Doris Maricle / American Press

OBERLIN — Allen Parish Sheriff Doug Hebert III told police jurors recently that he will begin cracking down on door-to-door

salesmen after complaints were received about pushy and not-so-reputable solicitors working in the parish.

“I’m sure every parish and city has had problems with vacuum cleaner salesmen and people of different trades coming to their

doors trying to sell them something,” Hebert said. “Some of those people are quite reputable; some, not so reputable.”

Rules already require anyone going door to door to have an occupational license, and those rules will be enforced, Hebert

said.

“I’m not trying to prevent someone from selling or engaging in trade, but sometimes we need to do things to protect the people

here,” he said. “Some of these people are pushy, especially with our senior citizens. Some are scam artists.”

Hebert said he wants to better enforce the laws so residents are more comfortable with solicitors coming to their doors.

“We want them to know that when they tell someone they are not interested and ask them to leave that they don’t remain after

being prohibited,” he said.

Those who do not leave the property after being asked can be charged with remaining on premises after being forbidden and

trespassing.

Door-to-door solicitors are required to obtain an occupational license from the Sheriff’s Office. The cost depends on the

value of the items being sold, but varies from $40 to $100, Hebert said.

Those who do not obtain a license are in violation of parish law and are subject to legal action, he said.

“We are trying to protect the people

who live in our parish,” he said. “We are not trying to punish somebody

selling something

and trying to make a living, yet we want to protect the public

from some of the high-pressure tactics. Some salesmen are really

pushy, and people are complaining.”

School and church groups, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and other nonprofit organizations holding fundraisers and those

distributing information do not have to obtain an occupational license.

The Kinder City Council issued a similar warning to door-to-door solicitors in August, reminding them that anyone who solicits

business door to door must have a $200 peddlers license.

Failure to obtain the proper permit can result in a fine of up to $500, 60 days in jail or both. Each day of violation is

considered a separate offense, said Mayor Estes LeDoux.