Door-to-door sales people: some represent legitimate businesses, but others can mean trouble for people on the other side of the door.
Now, the city of Pocatello is hoping to do something about the issue.
In Thursday's city council study session, the Pocatello Police proposed licensing door-to-door sales people, which would include mandatory background checks.
Capt. Jim Peterson with the Pocatello Police said there have been three citations issued to door-to-door sales people this year alone. The current registration system doesn't give police any teeth when it comes to enforcement, Peterson said, and police want to make sure people are safe.
Ty Iwakiri said he's had some awkward run-ins with sidewalk solicitors, and he thinks the license is a good idea.
"Definitely some of them look kind of shady sometimes. That's why my wife, and when my daughter's home, don't answer the door," Iwakiri said.
Peterson said that right now, all sales people need is a $25 registration that can be given to any number of employees. If this proposal passes, businesses will have to buy a license for each seller, and be required to wear a photo ID at all times.
"we don't know who a lot of these people who come in, if we don't do background checks, we don't know what their history is, and they're coming into people's homes."
Police get a good number of complaints from people every year concerning door-to-door solicitors, including allegations of verbal abuse and violence. Peterson wants to prevent something even worse from happening.
"There was an incident were a door-to-door salesman in Idaho Falls ended up in a lady's home and sexually abused her. And those people had been in Pocatello the week before," Peterson said.
Out of town companies can scam people, cut and run, and there's nothing they can do about it, Peterson said. Under the proposal, businesses will be required to post a bond as insurance, so that doesn't happen.
Proposal or not, Peterson said, always be careful and call the police if a sales person becomes threatening.
"If they're being aggressive, verbally abusive or refusing to leave, then step back in, close your door, lock it, lock the door and call us," he said.
One woman who works as a door-to-door sales woman for a local company said she has no problem with having to get a license.
The proposal will go to the legal department and will be considered by the council at a future meeting. Peterson is confident it will pass, he said.