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Sheriff wants door-to-door salesmen to get permit

STARKVILLE — The Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department wants to require door-to-door salesmen to have permits that confirm the legitimacy of their business.

The Starkville Daily News reports Chief Deputy Chadd Garnett has told supervisors that some county residents had complained week about magazine salesmen who were asking people to buy subscriptions they claimed would be shipped to military personnel overseas.

He says a South Carolina-based company had nine employees working in Oktibbeha and Lafayette counties. Garnett says the company — which he did not name — agreed this week to stop the sales until the sheriff’s department reviewed paperwork on the company. Since then, Garnett says there have been no complaints.

“Most of the time, if you order a magazine, it’s about three months before you get your first one. Whatever the time limit is, if it is a scam and they never show up, then I’ve given this person three months to scam more people in Oktibbeha County. So we’re trying to figure out a way to stop that,” he said.

Garnett is gathering information from surrounding counties that have a permit ordinance. The city of Starkville has such an ordinance. Garnett said he will present options for the board at a future meeting.

“I really don’t have anything with teeth to stop this,” he said. “I feel like my job to do is to protect the citizens of Oktibbeha County, and I don’t know how I can do it here without some type of ordinance.”

Board president Orlando Trainer says he supports the idea.

“We need to get more information so we can get something together that is good for the sheriff’s department to enforce for people who try to take advantage of those who may be vulnerable,” Trainer said.

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