Indy councilor to introduce no-knock list to deter unwanted solicitors

An Indianapolis councilor wants to update the city's ordinance on solicitation.
Indy No-Knock Ordinance
No knock ordinance debate

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - An Indianapolis City-County councilor is pursuing a "no-knock" ordinance for the capital city.

Republican Scott Kreider hopes to introduce a proposal at Monday's council meeting that would update the city's ordinance on solicitation. It would create a no-knock list similar to a no-call list, where homeowners could register their addresses, in this case with the city in an effort to keep unwanted solicitors away.

"People can be put on the no-knock list and vendors would have to check that list before they go out and do door-to-door solicitation," Kreider said. "If there's a sticker on the door, obviously, they can't knock and have to leave if asked to leave."

The move comes as cities across the country work to update their ordinance on solicitors to make sure they're in compliance with federal law. (Indy's hasn't been updated since 1975.)

A Carmel council committee will consider adding a no-knock provision to its ordinance at a hearing Tuesday. Carmel's ordinance already requires solicitors to register with the city and get a permit, something Indianapolis does not require, nor would it under Kreider's proposal.

While enforcement of Carmel's ordinance would fall upon police, Indy's would be overseen by its Department of Neighborhood Services.

"Penalties would be handled like any other nuisance," Kreider said.

Vickie Goenes, who lives in the Garfield Park neighborhood, said the no-knock ordinance "would be helpful, especially for people who do not want to be disturbed and do not want to listen to solicitors."

She added she's usually wary of a stranger approaching her front door.

"Most of the times I don't unlock the security door," she said, noting being on the no-knock list "would make me feel a little more secure."

Still, she questioned whether it would really keep unwanted solicitors away, with no way to track them (unlike Carmel where a solicitor is required to have their city-issued permit with them when calling on homeowners.)

"I don't know how it would be enforced," Goenes said, adding a solicitor "would probably just go ahead and ignore it."

Kreider said the no-knock list is just part of his proposal, which also includes setting a curfew. It would prohibit solicitors from knocking on doors "after sunset or 9 p.m., whatever is earlier."

He said four councilors have indicated they'd like to be co-sponsors and said changes are possible as the proposal makes its way through the council process.

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