Criminal checks in place for peddlers and solicitors in the towns of Hamburg and Eden
With warmer weather comes many things, including door-to-door salespersons tramping through the neighborhoods.
All peddlers and solicitors in the towns of Hamburg and Eden will be required to supply valid photo identification and submit to a criminal background check completed prior to any permit being issued.
All the applicants must be fingerprinted, which is not done at either town.
Applicants must schedule an appointment for fingerprinting through the L-1Enrollment Process at www.L1enrollment.com or by calling (877) 472-6915. Currently the fingerprinting fee is $85.75, but is subject to change.
Once the fingerprints are completed, the criminal background checks are done and then forwarded electronically to the Town of Hamburg Police Department or the Town of Eden Police Department for review. Fingerprints and criminal background checks are good for one year.
According to Hamburg Police Officer Scott Fraser, it should take only about 10 days to issue a permit, if there is not a delay with the fingerprint process.
“This way we get a chance to review everything before they are granted a permit,” Fraser said.
“These people are going door to door in our town and we have a responsibility to our residents to keep them safe,” Hamburg’s Town Clerk Cathy Rybczynski said. “By doing these background checks, we should be able to keep out those who have a criminal history,” she said.
Eden Town Clerk Mary Jo Hultquist concurs.
“We passed the local law for background checks for peddlers last year (late in the season), so this is our first year implementing it,” Hultquist said.
Over the past several years there have been instances where people have had items taken from their homes while they were talking to a peddler or solicitor.
“Sometimes the residents let these people in their homes to use a bathroom or get a drink of water,” Rybczynski said. “They should never do this, even if they do have a permit. It is not safe.”
“What ever you do, don’t give them copies of your utility bills or anything with your personal information on them,” Hultquist said. In the past, solicitors promising they can lower the residents utility costs have asked for copies of current bills from the resident.
“Don’t give them anything,” Hultquist said. “If they get pushy, call the police. We don’t allow this.”
In Hamburg, once approved, the solicitor or peddler will be issued a permit, which will include their name, photograph and expiration date of the permit, along with a specially shaped holographic sticker.
Cost for the 60-day permit is $100 in the Town of Hamburg and $10 in the Town of Eden.
In Hamburg this permit must be worn or placed on the outer-most garment the person is wearing. The photograph is to be turned face up and be easily viewed by the public.
A clear permit carrying sleeve and a lanyard are available at the Hamburg clerk’s office for $5 a piece.
“We are not issuing photo permits or lanyards, but all solicitors must have a permit that the Town of Eden has issued them or they can’t be here” Hultquist said.
There are some exceptions to the rule.
Charitable, religious, school, benevolent and patriotic purposes native to the town or engaged in selling produce or products raised in the town which are offered for sale need to get the permits but do not need to pay for them.
Persons under the age of 19 are not required to register or obtain a permit if they are selling items for religious, charitable, benevolent, school or service organizations that are native for the Town of Hamburg.
To keep solicitors off private property, one needs to post a “No Solicitors” sign on the premises, said Fraser.
A sign can be posted on a post by the driveway, in a front window of the building or business or any other visible location.
“It has to be clearly posted to be enforceable,” Fraser said.
Residents are encouraged to call the police in their town if anyone approaches them without the proper identification and permits, or the solicitor is being a nuisance or won’t leave.
“We will revoke the permits if we receive complaints about a specific person or group,” Fraser said. Eden will also revoke permits if there are complaints, officials said.
Town of Hamburg permits are valid from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. within the town and they are the only ones that are allowed.
“If you see a permit that looks like it has been tampered with, is issued from another municipality or someone is using another person’s permit, even if they are employed by the same company, call the police,” said Rybczynski.
“Each peddler has to have their own permit and they are nontransferable,” Fraser said.
To view copies of the approved Town of Hamburg permits visit the town’s website at www.townofhamburgny.com. Click on Helpful links on the left and than Peddler Permits Valid in the Town of Hamburg.
According to Rybczynski, the Town of Hamburg Dispatch will also have a copy of all the photos issued with the permits and they will be able to tell callers if the permit is legitimate or not.
Permit applications are available at the Hamburg and Eden’s town clerk offices and is posted on the Hamburg website.