Residents have raised concerns about door-to-door solicitors who have not obtained the required County and City solicitor’s licenses. Some solicitors have been reported to be aggressive, possibly have misrepresented themselves, and have requested resident’s private information such as monthly power bills.

When a complaint is made to City staff, attempts are made to identify the solicitors and the companies they claim to represent. City contracted Police Officers are dispatched to confront solicitors and identify if they are legitimate, or not. If they are legitimate but do not have licenses, they are sent on their way. Recently Police were able to identify solicitors without licenses, working for an out of state power company. A municipal
infraction was issued to the company, and City regulations were explained to their corporate staff. The $100 fine was paid.

Based on residents’ requests, Council Members, including me have requested consideration of installing street signs warning of solicitation laws. Public Works staff have developed proposed wording and design of a sign. Strategic locations have been suggested for city-wide installation, without adding too much to the number of signs throughout City neighborhoods.

Staff has reminded residents at police-community meetings that they do not have to open their doors to strangers and should not do so after dark. Residents should always report suspicious behavior to 9-1-1 immediately, so that Police may identify solicitors and determine if they are legitimate and have the required licenses.

At this week’s Council meeting, the City Council will discuss the value of installing solicitation related signs, sign wording, and sign locations and, to direct staff action following their decisions.

[City of College Park]