BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Door-to-door salesmen are not a thing of the past. They still are going house to house, so it is important to make sure the solicitor at the door is a legitimate solicitor.
Most of the solicitors the Bloomington Police Department (BPD) deals with are salespeople, according to Public Information Officer Brandt Parsley.
“There are a lot of organizations that drop people off in the city to solicit, and they don’t go through the proper channels,” Parsley said. “They’ll have a meeting point and a drop-off point, and they drop these people off, and they don’t have proper ID. That’s when the police typically get involved.”
Friday, BPD posted a warning on Facebook to alert people that solicitors may come knocking. The post explains the rules and regulations for solicitors. Parsley said it not only helps future solicitors learn how to get the proper permit, it also lets citizens know whether the person knocking is allowed to be there.
“The whole point of the PSA was to alert citizens and then prevent these police contacts with these solicitors, in the hopes that they would go through the proper channels beforehand,” he said.
To become a solicitor, one must apply, get fingerprinted, and then obtain an official photo badge.
Basically, if the salesman at the door does not have a badge, take caution before answering.
“People are very skeptical nowadays, rightfully so,” Parsley said, “so when people show up at their door selling things… a lot of people didn’t know people still did that. When that happens, people immediately think it’s some kind of scam or someone trying to do something they’re not supposed to do.”