City of Ralls cracks down on illegal soliciting - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

City of Ralls cracks down on illegal soliciting

Any vendor in Ralls will have to apply for, and wear, one of these permit badges (source: KCBD video) Any vendor in Ralls will have to apply for, and wear, one of these permit badges (source: KCBD video)

It’s a new safety initiative in the City of Ralls aimed at stopping illegal soliciting.

Anyone selling door to door in Ralls now has to wear a brightly colored badge in hopes that homeowners can identify them before even opening the door.

“We started hearing in the news about folks coming in and pretending to be vendors and either scoping out residencies for burglaries or assaults,” Ralls Enforcement Officer Erik Lopez said.

That’s an issue the City of Ralls hasn’t yet experienced.

But when surrounding cities like Lamesa and Lubbock saw people posing as a salesperson, then committing a crime, Lopez decided it was time to step up their safety measures.

“The old process was, they filled out a paper application, we took copies of their ID’s and we ran a background check on each of the vendors. And that was it,” Lopez said.

Now any solicitors will have to apply for a bright colored permit/badge, and if you plan to go door to door you’ll have to clip it onto your uniform so it can be easily seen.

“This permit expires every year, so it will have an expiration date. The color of the permit will also change every year, so every vendor has to come in and renew that,” Lopez said.

Lopez says vendors will still need to go through the initial application and background check.

“If you’re approved, then the next step is to come in and obtain your tag. We will give you a copy of the ordinance at that time. We’ll get you to fill this card out, sign the back of it and then you’re good to go,” he said.

He says so far, most residents have been appreciative.

Resident Mary Helen Jamerson thinks it will help, but she says it’s also up to the citizens to make this successful.

“The citizens have to participate, and they have to do their part...if everyone will ask for those things, pretty soon word will get around that if you’re going to Ralls, you better go by the city office and get a badge,” Jamerson said.

Ralls residents are encouraged to look out for these bright green badges before they open their door to a potential solicitor.

“I do encourage all of our residents to talk to their kids about this and let them know this is in effect and if they don’t see it there is no reason to open the door for that person,” Lopez said.

Lopez says as of now, utility workers don’t have to have those permits in Ralls because they are supposed to have a company name badge.

Non-profits and organizations like girl scouts and churches are also exempt from the new system.

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