A Meridian, ID, resident recently called the police department to demand a cop hurry over and apprehend an illegal solicitor—someone who’d knocked on her door to peddle without a permit.
As reported by Deputy David Gomez, a School Resource Officer in Idaho City, on his lively Facebook Page, the caller told the cops she was sure the peddler “did not have a solicitor’s license.”
And as it turns out, she was right.
Because the peddler was a girl of about age 8. She was selling homemade cookies.
The officer arriving on the scene, a newbie, managed to track down the entrepreneurial menace. As he later explained to Deputy Gomez, this wasn’t too hard, as she had not gotten too far from the complainant’s home. And she was particularly easy to find because she was with her mom and baby sister, who was in a stroller. Said stroller also contained the crumbly contraband in question. In fact, the suspect actually approached the officer and said, “‘Mr. Policeman, I am selling home-baked cookies… so that I can afford piano lessons. Would you like to buy some?”
She added that her older sister was a really good pianist, and she wanted to take lessons to be just like her. But her mom thought she should have some skin in the game by helping to pay for the lessons. Hence, the pastry peddling.
At that point, Gomez writes, “Our new officer did what any reasonably seasoned police officer would do in that situation.”
He bought all the rest of the cookies.
The officer even went so far as to call the complainant back to explain that the girl had not been breaking any laws. As she was what is technically known as a “child,” who was not actually running a “business,” she was not required to have a solicitor’s license.
And yet, Gomez added, “You would probably be surprised how many times kids selling items for school fundraisers get called in as illegal solicitors.”
Or maybe, dear readers, you wouldn’t be surprised at all. After all, we are living in a country where some folks call 911 when they see a child walking home from the park, or playing outside, or even doing homework on her own front lawn. (In that South Carolina case, a passerby thought the girl was abandoned, even though her dad was inside, working.)
Upon returning to the station, the Idaho officer gave out free cookies to all the other department personnel and did not save them as criminal evidence for any subsequent investigation.
All of which serves as a reminder that cops plus common sense plus kids is how you create community—and put the kibosh on Karens. Cookies just make it all that much sweeter.
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