Opelousas PD cracking down on illegal soliciting

OPELOUSAS, La (KLFY) – The days of soliciting from street corners with no permit have come to an end.

On most weekends vendors take to city streets soliciting donations and selling food, however, the Opelousas Police Department will be tightening up on organizations who choose to do so.

“We’re not against anyone trying to raise money for any type of organization or school,” said Opelousas Police Chief, Donald Thompson. “We’re not against it, we just have to do it right.”

After receiving several complaints, Chief Thompson says anyone wanting to solicit from public streets will have to go through him or the mayor first.

“You have to come to my office and get a permit to be able to solicit any type of money,” said Chief Thompson. “For parades you have to go to city hall and see the mayor, also if you’re selling any type of sandwiches or what not you have to go to the mayor’s office.”

Chief Thompson says a city ordinance regarding soliciting has been in place since before he took office, and says he plans to make sure everyone follows the law moving forward.

“If you’re at an intersection we’re going to be checking for your permit as well as your city license,” said Chief Thompson.

Opelousas resident, Easton Shelton, is vice president of a travel league basketball team and says often times he’ll have a lot of competition out on the street corner, which is why he praises the efforts of local authorities enforcing permits.

“I think the permit is a good thing,” said Shelton. “We’ve found people who were out there without permits and the police department would ask them to leave and that frees up the competition.”

Chief Thompson says he and his officers will begin enforcing the law and doing periodic checks to make sure all street vendors are occupying a permit.

If you’re caught without a permit, Chief Thompson says you will be cited.

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