LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's already illegal to go door to door in the City of Lake Charles-- and now Calcasieu Police Jurors are talking about banning such peddlers outside the cities. Jurors gave committee approval to a ban.
Nowadays many people are hesitant to answer the door to a stranger--so a proposed ban on door to door sales in the parish was perhaps only a matter of time. Homeowners want their privacy. But should there be an exception for church groups and children selling items to raise funds for school or scouts?
The issue brought lively debate. Juror Tony Stelly says no while Police Jury President Kevin Guidry says yes. "I just have a problem doing away with that because that may be the only source of income for those kids in that school." Whereas Stelly argued, "They're not going to lose one single sale from the fact that we're not allowing them to go door to door to people they have absolutely no idea who lives there or what lives there." Said Guidry, "I just think in totally negating that Mr. Stelly you're taking something from those kids that may not have other means to get this money to do those things during the year." To which Stelly responded, "You're putting the children at risk by allowing them to go into neighborhoods that they don't know."
Ward 3 Marshal Joey Alcede agrees a ban promotes safety. "These sex offenders, we talk about the sex offender registry, the people that don't register, you know how many people go and look at the map that's available to see what's in the neighborhood."
And if there is a ban and kids violate it, police have discretion when it comes to issuing tickets. Deputy Doug Pool told jurors, "We're not going to go out there looking for the Girl Scouts, looking for the church groups. It's the people from out of town. It's the people from Texas that come in. They're not licensed, they come in. Some times we catch 'em sometimes we don't."
Jurors in committee approved banning door to door sales without exception. Since tonight's approval of a ban was in committee, the whole jury will vote on the issue at their regular meeting at 5:30 Thursday May 6th.