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LA Ports Back Off Background Check Proposal

April 17, 2002

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A security plan developed by a Los Angeles task force for the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports will not require background checks on truck drivers and dockworkers.

Mayor James Hahn had proposed the background checks shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But after six months, his waterfront security task force has come up with a simpler idea: Port visitors must show a valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license.
A spokesman for the mayor told the Los Angeles Times
A more comprehensive identification system could be implemented in the future, but the task force ran into conflicts over turf and politics as well as who will pay for the system and who will control the information.
The Port of Long Beach is reluctant to spend a lot of time and money on such a system while Congress is working on a program that would apply to all the country’s ports. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union opposed background checks as violations of privacy.
In addition to the ID requirement, the port police force will be expanded by about 25 percent. A consulting firm will be hired to determine the extent of background checks that might be required at some future date.

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