Hi, Neighbors. One of our goals for Aleppo Township in 2017 was to record 4 non-meeting videos. (Click here to see my year-end presentation on our other goals and what we have accomplished.) I’m feverishly trying to accomplish all our goals before the end of the year and that leads me to revisiting a video that we shot back in the lusty month of May.
The topic of this presentation was Solicitation Awareness. Essentially, the goal was to tell you your rights and obligations when a solicitor knocks on your door. To accomplish this goal, I met with Corporal Simcoviak of the Ohio Township Police Department. Corporal Simcoviak is a crime prevention officer and he had great insight about how to deal with this issue that many of our residents have already confronted.
It was not a long presentation, as the pertinent questions could all be answered fairly quickly. But I should add that this topic was specifically requested by residents when we asked them what questions they wanted the answer to. The point is, not every subject in this series of educational videos needs to be long and complicated–we’re happy to take a deep dive into any topics you want. Just let us know!
Before I get to the digest, I must admit that due to some technical issues, the video is a bit choppy. The good news is that you can still get what was said (if you can’t and you have questions, feel free to let me know!)
The better news is that we have money in our 2018 budget to improve some of our equipment. The hope is that by upgrading some of our capital assets, we will be able to improve the quality of these productions. As you know, this whole thing has been an experiment and we’re still trying to figure out the formula that gets the best results!
- With those qualifications, here’s what I discussed with the police about Solicitation Awareness in Aleppo Township:
- Q: Where are the rules found concerning solicitation in Aleppo?
- A: In Chapter 277 of our Township Ordinances, which are available online (click here for direct access).
- Q: How do Aleppo’s ordinances compare to those in other municipalities?
- A: They are very similar.
- Q: What is required to solicit in Aleppo?
- A: Solicitors must have a license, which requires a photo ID.
- Q: What do solicitors have to do with their license?
- A: It must be displayed on their person and produced if requested.
- Q: Does every person who might knock on my door need a license?
- A: No. Representatives of non-profit organizations, religious groups, and political activists are not subject to the licensing requirements.
- Q: Does posting a sign stating “No Soliciting” prevent all unwanted interruptions?
- A: Yes and no. Solicitors cannot bother you if you post a sign, but those groups who are exempt from the licensing requirements are not required to ignore houses with a sign.
- Q: What should you be aware of when you open the door to a solicitor?
- A: Be aware of criminals looking to use solicitation as a cover to stakeout your neighborhood to gain information to commit a crime. Look beyond the person immediately in front of you. Look for another person or an out-of-place vehicle.
- Q: If you suspect a solicitor has a forged license, what should you do?
- A: Call 911.
- Q: What precautions should you take if you open the door to a solicitor?
- A: Don’t let them in the house. Keep them where you can see them. Look beyond them for potential accomplices or support vehicles. Be alert for bulky clothing or clothing that is not seasonally appropriate.
- Q: What precautions should you take if you do invite somebody into your house (which–again–is not recommended)?
- A: Keep your dog nearby as a visual deterrent. Keep yourself close to your alarm-pad so you can press the panic button, if necessary. Hold your phone ready to call 911. As a last resort use the keychain remote for your car alarm as a makeshift panic button if your car is in the driveway or on the street and would attract the attention of neighbors in the event of trouble.
- Q: When should you call 911 versus calling a non-emergency number?
- A: Err on the side of calling 911 rather than a non-emergency number.
I finished up the presentation by asking folks to let us know if they have particular questions about solicitation in our township. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) If you have questions, feel free to let me know by return email. I also promised to include a link to our very popular Fraud Prevention program with Corporal Simcoviak. (Click here to see the digest of that presentation.)
Alright! That’s it for now. I’ll be coming to you again between now and midnight on 31 December with “Ambulance Basics”, answers to all your questions about the EMT service that you can expect as an Aleppo resident (spoiler alert: we’re pretty lucky to have very good service!).
Let me know if you have any questions. And–as always–thanks for making Aleppo Township an awesome place to live.
Aleppo Township Commissioner