The Board of Selectmen adopted amendments to the town’s Pawn Brokers Ordinance with a 5-0 vote Monday evening.
Public hearings on the amendments were held on Jan. 28 and Feb. 11.
Deputy Chief of Police Shawn Patten said the shift to electronic reporting is the most significant change resulting from the amendments.
Previously, the Investigative Bureau was entering information on over 40,000 pieces of paper per year, Patten said.
Electronic reporting will free staff to complete other important duties.
“They will still be very busy,” he noted.
When Selectman Stephen Campbell asked how local pawn dealers have responded to the amendments, Patten said the department has mostly “heard crickets.”
Patten said the department hasn’t received praise or criticism regarding the new system, which will take effect beginning on April 1.
The department and local pawn dealers have undergone training in preparation for the transition.
Patten said all the larger pawn dealers in town “are on board,” but that the board may see some smaller second hand dealers who don’t do a lot of business choose not to renew their license due to the expense of reporting very few, inexpensive items electronically.
The changeover to the new system of electronic reporting is to be complete on March 1.
The amendments to the Salem Municipal Code Chapter 251 are available for viewing on the town website.