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The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved new regulations for door-to-door solicitation on Tuesday, nearly two years after a motion calling for the regulations was presented by former 5th District City Councilmember Jack Weiss.
Since June 2009, the proposal had been passed along to different committees and the City Attorney’s Office before it finally came back for a final vote by the city council. It will require door-to-door solicitors to carry a driver’s license or government-issued identification card and present it upon request. Door-to-door solicitation will also only be permitted between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
City Councilmember Paul Koretz, 5th District, said while he is supportive of the new regulations, he wasn’t aware of the motion until he recently saw it on the city council agenda. He added that regulations regarding door-to door sales are appropriate because they offer additional protections for residents.
Lt. Michael Oreb, with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Division, said crimes involving people who impersonate door-to-door salespeople occur from time to time, and he added that any regulations that will protect residents are a good idea.
“The situations we have had are when people impersonate a gas company worker or tell people that they have lost something in their back yard, and while one person is talking to the homeowner, another person is inside going through their drawers,” Oreb said. “I think anytime they do something that makes it easier for resident to identify a solicitor as legitimate, it is a good thing.”
Lt Bryan Wong, of the LAPD’s Wilshire Division, added that he does not know of any specific crimes involving door-to-door solicitors that are currently being investigated in the Wilshire area.
“I’m sure it happens, but when people knock on a door, ninety-nine percent of the population doesn’t make a big deal out of it,” Wong said. “If they are doing it to do a home invasion robbery, that is something else. It sounds like a preventative measure to deter people from committing a burglary, but then you also have to consider that there are legitimate people going door-to-door. It’s a delicate balance.”
Koretz added that he hopes the new regulations will provide an extra layer of security of residents and added that it is not uncommon for motions authored by former city council representatives to take a long time to go through the legislative process, but there is no clear answer as to why the motion took so long to come to a vote. Koretz added that he is unaware of any other motions pending from the previous councilmember, but added that he would direct his staff to look into the matter.
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