An ordinance may soon be passed requiring door-to-door salesmen to register with the county before visiting local homes.
Sheriff Kip Thomas and county commissioners discussed the possibility Dec. 6 during a budget meeting. Thomas said that Madison County dispatchers sometimes get calls regarding people knocking on their door. And the sheriff’s department can’t offer any information on whether the salesman is legitimate.
A “solicitation ordinance” could give citizens an opportunity to determine who is standing on their front porch.
“It (a solicitation ordinance) gives us something to go on,” said Madison County chief deputy Shawn Burns. “If somebody comes up to your house and you don’t know who it is. They ring your doorbell and you ask who they are. ‘Well, I’m a salesman for so and so vacuum cleaners,’ they say. And you say, ‘I don’t think you’re supposed to be here’ and you call 9-1-1. Well, when you call 9-1-1 and they tell you, ‘Yes, he’s got a permit. They’re going to be in your area today until seven o’clock.’ Would that make you feel better about who was standing on your front porch?”
A solicitation ordinance could set hours for when door-to-door sales calls are allowed in the county. A person who tries to sell items without registering could be issued a citation and a fine.
County commissioners agreed to have county attorney Mike Pruett look into the possibility of establishing such and ordinance.
In a separate matter, the group heard from Thomas and Burns about the lack of office space at the sheriff’s department for criminal investigation interviews. Burns noted that six employees share a small office space, with a closet even being utilized. If an investigator needs to conduct a private interview in a child molestation case, he or she must have all the other employees move out of the small room until the interview is over.
The board discussed the possibility of having the probation office relocated from the old multi-purpose building on Sunset Drive in Danielsville and allowing the sheriff’s office to conduct interviews there. That office is in the lower level of the building, while the upper portion is the county extension office. Commissioners have long expressed reservations about having the probation office and extension office — where local students often go — share the same building.
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