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Door-to-door salesmen working in Bossier Parish now need permits

Don't want to get ripped off by potential scammers knocking at your door? Bossier Parish Police Jury created an ordinance to protect you.

In Bossier Parish, a new ordinance has been created to protect citizens from phony door-to-door sales people trying to rip them off.

"Having the ordinance will really make all the neighborhoods in the parish safer."

Gary Alderman is the president of the Rosedale Neighborhood Association. About a month ago, a door-to-door salesman going through the neighborhood got him fired up.

He said a man was trying to sell alarm systems to neighbors and lied, saying there had been several burglaries in the area.

Alderman's next door neighbor told him about her experience with the man.

"He had knocked on her door, he tried to force his way in to see the layout of her house, and was asking questions," says Alderman. "Are you married? Is your husband gone very long? How long are you gone? How many days are you here, not here?"

"Being someone in law enforcement since 1975 that sounds like the same questions that a burglar would want to know, you know," says Alderman.

When the former officer saw him walking around with a clipboard in his hand, he confronted him.

"I said well, 'why are you selling alarm systems out here?'" says Alderman. "And he said, 'because you've had several burglaries.' I said, 'where are they at?' He gave me some names that were bogus names I didn't recognize and I said, 'well, you're lying because there hasn't been any burglaries in this neighborhood, because I'm the president of the neighborhood association, and I know we haven't had any burglaries."

Alderman asked him for identification, got his license and was getting ready to call the sheriff's office.

"He followed me to my front door as if he was going to follow me inside my house, and so I ordered him back out," says Alderman. "I said, 'get back on the sidewalk. You're not allowed on my property.'"

After that encounter, Alderman asked the Bossier Parish Police Jury to pass an ordinance that regulated door-to-door solicitation.

"This will give law enforcement an opportunity to keep those folks out of the neighborhoods, especially those using scare tactics with seniors to get them to sign up for services," says Patrick Jackson, Bossier Parish Attorney.

The parish attorney says the ordinance won't affect groups like the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts or students and churches that do fundraising.

Others will need a permit to sell.

Neighbor L.G. Morgan says it's a good thing.

"I'm very much in favor of it, and I just don't believe people should be bothered at home with salesmen," says Morgan.

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