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Brookfield yanks company's permit to go door to door because of 'high-pressure' tactics

Police, City Hall fielded at least 26 complaints

June 22, 2011

Sales tactics employed by door-to-door solicitors didn't go over very well with Brookfield residents last week.

Brookfield police and City Hall received dozens of phone calls from residents who were unsettled by salesmen trying to sell them home security systems.

City Clerk Kris Schmidt said the company's permit to solicit in the city was revoked Friday after she received 16 inquiries from residents and police fielded at least 10 complaints.

"They scared people because they wanted them to feel unsafe in order to sell their security systems,' Schmidt said. "They used very high-pressure sales tactics and insinuated things that weren't true."

Police Capt. Jim Adlam said some of the salesmen insinuated they were working with the Police Department or the city.

The company, Platinum Security LLC., was warned about its tactics before its permit to solicit was revoked Friday, Schmidt said.

"We warned them that if they were still out soliciting after Friday, they would be arrested," she said. "There was too much going on. There were too many complaints. We've never had that many complaints."

Municipalities aren't allowed to forbid door-to-door solicitation outright - but municipalities can put rules in place to regulate the activity.

"Before companies get a permit, we do a background check on anyone they're sending out into our streets," Schmidt said. "We don't want people with things like burglary, robbery or assault on their rap sheets."

The companies have to reimburse the city $12 for each background check, Schmidt added.

"We cannot strictly forbid people from soliciting," she said. "People need to hang a 'no soliciting' sign on their door if they want to prevent solicitors."

The solicitors in Brookfield last week led to numerous inquiries from residents, and some noteworthy police reports, including:

A man in the 4200 block of Lilly Road reported at 2:37 p.m. June 16 that two salesmen were nosing around outside his house, and possibly trying to break-in, without permission.

A homeowner in the 800 block of Satinwood Court was warned after he pushed a solicitor whom he said didn't leave his property "as quickly as I'd like" at 6:41 p.m. June 16.

Two salesmen called police at 6:16 p.m. June 17 after a resident near the intersection of Pershing Drive and 148th Street said a racial slur to one of the salesmen.

A Platinum Security representative did not return a phone call for comment on this story.

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