“Coast Guard City” looks at fingerprinting business license applicants
The city council of Newburyport, Massachusetts, dubbed the “Coast Guard City”, deliberated on a proposal requiring people who apply for business licenses to submit to fingerprinting. The proposed ordinance was sent to the city’s public safety committee for further deliberation.
If the ordinance passes, people involved in the following occupations will be required to submit to fingerprinting: owners or operators of public conveyances such as taxis and limousines, sellers of second-hand retail items, managers holding alcohol beverage licenses, hackney drivers, ice-cream truck vendors and door-to-door salesmen. Also to be fingerprinted are those who sell items at community events.
City Marshal, Thomas Howard said that his department would like to “conduct state and federal fingerprint-based criminal history checks for individuals applying for licenses” among people who have interaction with the public.
Public safety is the paramount concern why the law was proposed. Councilor Bob Cronin, chair of the public safety committee, along with Councilors Brian Derrivan and Tom Jones, will further deliberate the merits of the ordinance.
Cronin, who previously worked for the Andover Police Department, said in a statement that appeared in the Newburyport News that: “There are times a resident might be vulnerable, and we should know who is selling or operating in our community.”
Newburyport attracts a large number of visitors especially during summer, because of its historical buildings, streets, waterfronts and its close proximity to New Hampshire lakes and mountains.