POLICE COMMENT ON DOOR-TO-DOOR SOLICITING
as of July 16, 2008

Appearing first as the reply to a Brookdale email:
Thanks very much for forwarding the comments from your community regarding their experiences with “door to door” persons. I would like to echo your sentiment about desiring that we be called when these subjects appear. Please do encourage residents to call our non-emergency number, 301 279-8000, when subjects come to their door and solicit.

These groups have altered their sales approach over time and have been engaging in a more “neighborhood” tactic. They might say they are raising money for BCC High School Baseball Team for example or as in your list serve example they know someone down the block etc. The law is very clear – if there is selling going on Vendors must have the requisite permit. The permit must be worn on the outer garment at all times. It is about the size of a driver’s license and will have the Montgomery County Seal and a photograph of the seller. The supervising Vendor must possess a Vendor Book which will contain up to six vending permits. The cover will have a gold embossed seal from Montgomery County. Again, experience has shown that these Vendors almost never have permits. If the Vendor is selling an item for future delivery they must post a bond with Permitting Services – they never do this. Please know that when these subjects are in your neighborhoods they are knocking on every door. Many of these sellers have a criminal history. They do not reside in our area and have no ties to our communities and therefore are difficult to track should a crime occur. We want to be called about these subjects. We also want to have our communities stop buying from them. The only way to eliminate their presence is to not make any purchases. It is our policy to seize all materials should we encounter an unlicensed Vendor (typically the magazine seller).

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your help with this matter.
Kind Regards,
Denise Gill
[Community Services Officer]

This shortened excerpt from the MONTGOMERY COUNTY CODE, SECTION 47 tries to clarify what defines a vendor (that is, who must have the permit):
'Vendor' means any person who sells, offers to sell, or solicits orders for any goods or services
except
'Vendor' does not include a person who
- is invited to a residence or business by prior appointment with an owner or legal occupant of the premises to provide goods or services or
- represents a charitable organization or a state or local government agency.

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