Aggressive Door-to-Door Solicitors - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Aggressive Door-to-Door Solicitors

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BILLINGS -

It's something you might have already dealt with, or will be encountering very soon. Door to door salesman are knocking on doors all around Billings and many are showing an aggressive side.

"When the neighbors are nervous, then the phone calls come to the police department," says Billings Police Chief Rich St. John.

That's exactly what the Billings Police Department has been dealing with since solicitors are back in neighborhoods all around town.

St. John says, "They're very pushy and they're very aggressive, and sometimes, it's like they get a foot in the door and they're not going to let you close it. All of that is illegal, and all of that we're going to deal with very quickly this year to get a handle on it."

But soliciting isn't a crime, it's simply a business that requires a business license.

"Basically, they come to the Finance Department and a basic simple business licence is $45. They just fill out the application and pay the $45," says Pat Weber, Finance Director for the City of Billings.

The problem starts when they won't take no for an answer.

Weber says when solicitors are aggressive, "The person that does business licenses will get complaints and she'll turn them over to the Billings Police Department."

"They cannot bully. They cannot force themselves upon you. And they have to take no for an answer," says St. John. "The stance that we're taking right now is that if we get complaints on any of these people that are soliciting for any suspicious or aggressive type behavior, that we will give them a warning. And if we have any subsequent complaints, then we will most likely issue a citation."

St. John says people fear these solicitors are scouting neighborhoods and looking for easy targets, but that hasn't shown to be a problem in the past.

"Historically, we don't have that, but the perception is there, perception becomes reality and we need to deal with that," says St. John.

So if you feel threatened in this situation, take control and assertively say no. If they don't take no and are still being aggressive and make you uncomfortable, then call the Billings Police Department.

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