L.A. Mulling Mandatory Background Checks For All Ice Cream Truck Vendors

When a kid hears the first hint of the delicate strains of “Pop! Goes The Weasel” it means one thing — the ice cream truck is a’coming down the street. And you can bet your popsicle sticks that most youngsters are shooting out the door without Mom or Dad in tow.

Because of the unsupervised nature of many ice cream truck transactions, Los Angeles County is considering requiring background checks for those vendors and any others who deal with kids on their own.

The county’s Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a plan for staffers to look into possible new regulations that would require vendors to subject to a screening process for criminal records before they can interact with children, reports the L.A. Times/a>. The Live-Screen process would check for criminal records that include molestation, sex offenses, pornography or abuse.

Beyond ice cream trucks, the supervisor behind the idea said the policy could also apply to other businesses who deal mainly with solo kids.

“As the ultimate safety net for our most vulnerable residents, we have a responsibility to protect our young children,” he said, especially because ice cream trucks and their ilk tend to linger near parks, schools and other places where kids might be unsupervised.

“We could be unknowingly permitting dangerous individuals to come into contact with innocent children,” he said.

The L.A. County Treasurer and Tax Collector’s offices will report back within 60 days with a list of businesses that fall under that unsupervised children-as-customers category, as well as whether such a screening requirement can be imposed on businesses that engage with kids on a regular basis, before they’re allowed to get a business license.

L.A. County considering background checks on ice cream truck vendors [L.A. Times]

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