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Oceanport To Consider No Knock Ordinance

An example of a "No Knock" ordinance participation sticker.

OCEANPORT: The borough is looking into a "no knock" ordinance.

The purpose of the ordinance is to prohibit persons from approaching residences that have registered with the borough.

"It seems like we are getting more and more people coming to doors selling solar and windows and this and that and they come later and later," Councilman Joe Irace said.

Currently, solicitors need to come get a permit from the borough to solicit and one is issued per month, according to Borough Administrator Ray Poerio. There are exclusions such as religious groups, educational groups and politicians.

"The town can't ban it, but we can regulate it," Mayor Jay Coffey said. "It still doesn't prevent someone from knocking, it's an enforcement issue."

Irace said he does not want the borough's employees to have to maintain a list of who has signed up for the "no knock" list.

Poerio explained that residents would have to sign up to be included in the ordinance through the borough's Gov Pilot program. It would generate a list for the chief of police who would give it to solicitors that receive a permit. Poerio said this would not put a strain on the borough's employees, but creating signs and stickers for participating houses would.

"Once you start getting into stickers and placards that's where is gets more labor-intensive," Poerio said.

Borough Councilman Robert Proto asked if it is possible to not allow commercial entities to obtain a permit. Borough Attorney Scott Arnette said that would likely get into first amendment protection rights, but that he would have to research the topic.

The council was divided on whether or not the ordinance would actually make things better and if soliciting is even a problem.

"I don't think it's that big of a problem," Councilman William Deerin said. "I've been here 25 years and I think I can count on my hand the number of people who have knocked on my door."

Ultimately, the council agreed to have Poerio research the topic further and present the council with some options.

Read more from: Oceanport

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