Boston Ordinance Seeks to Fingerprint and Vet Business-License Seekers
01/18/2011 -A Boston city councilor has filed an ordinance to require city business-license seekers who interact with the public to submit to fingerprinting and a national background check to ensure they are not violent criminals.
According to Boston Herald columnist Michele McPhee,City Councilor Rob Consalvo wants to ensure that violent criminals from other states don't move to Boston and then work among the public in jobs such as cab drivers or bike messengers.
He has filed an ordinance that would require fingerprinting and thorough criminal history record checks for anyone who seeks a license from the city for jobs that involve public contact.
Consalvo wants those fingerprints entered into a national database to ensure that the people who are carrying official city licenses are not violent offenders who moved here from other states.
“Think about it. These people — taxi cab drivers, private cars for hire, pawn dealers, hawkers, peddlers, bike messengers — they are placed in a position of trust. With kids, with the elderly, with my family,’’ Consalvo said. “I don’t want these people showing up at my family’s door or driving my wife home from an event if we don’t check them.’’
McPhee reports that currently many business-license applicants are not asked if they have a criminal record when they apply for a license. And when they are, only their names are only run against a state database, which she says is "a notoriously inaccurate standard."
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