Traveling door-to-door salespeople will undergo closer scrutiny before being allowed to canvass American Fork. The City Council has amended the city code regarding solicitors in hopes of preventing problems that have occurred recently.
Crimes involving traveling door-to-door salespeople in American Fork have included a theft, a rape and a child molestation."In the past three years we have had problems with solicitors that have been well publicized," said American Fork Police Chief John Durrant. "This ordinance is not meant to restrict, it is meant to control who is selling."
The ordinance as amended requires solicitors to apply for a license with the city recorder. The applicant must give name; personal description; permanent and local address; the name and address of the person, firm, company or organization that the applicant is representing; a brief description of the nature of the business and goods or services being sold; a description and number of vehicles that will be used; and an estimate of the length of time the applicant wishes to do business. The license fee has been set at $60 a year or $20 for a 30-day license.
Two current photographs must be submitted with the application, and the applicant must be fingerprinted by the American Fork Police Department.
A five-day waiting period will follow submission of an application, during which time the police department will run a background check on the applicant. The license will become valid after this period unless information is uncovered that would warrant denial of the application.
Door-to-door salespeople will be required to keep the license on their person, and residents should ask to see the license if it is not visible. If a salesperson cannot produce a license, residents should report the person to the police.
"This ordinance won't work unless people are very careful about who they let in their homes," Durrant said.
Durrant said the door-to-door salesman who molested two American Fork children had an extensive history of such problems in Colorado. The background checks should alert city officials to such people.
Durrant said many complaints to city officials deal with quality of products purchased from traveling salespeople. Unfortunately, that is not a problem the police department can do anything about, but Durrant urged residents to be cautious about what they pay money for.
Charitable organizations, such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, are not required to comply with the ordinance.