Pasco Police Explains Concerns With Uber
Pasco is the last Tri-City to not allow Uber to operate. You can pick one up anywhere else and be dropped off in Pasco, but you can’t order one from the airport or a Pasco club. The disagreement is over fingerprinting. The city requires anyone with a license who may be alone in a vehicle or home with a client to verify who they are with digital fingerprinting. Uber uses an online service for background checks and considers it sufficient. The company refuses to subject drivers to the additional screening. Captain Ken Roske of Pasco Police Dept. offered to explain further and my coworker Andrew Kirk took him up on it:
The city is not opposed to Uber or Lyft or anyone else… they’re a great concept. The concern is when approving a business license, the [police] chief needs to know who he’s approving it for. Uber’s background check… does not verify the person is who they say they are. So with ID theft going on nationwide, how do you know who you’re approving? The standard practice is fingerprinting… it’s a very simple process. Every licensed entity uses it -- including real estate agents.
Q: Uber doesn’t think it’s necessary, why do you?
Tri-Cities have updated, state-of-the art fingerprinting software. It’s automated, very quick, and very efficient. I’m not sure Uber understands modern police and investigative procedures. It boils down to public safety… and we’ll let city determine what direction to take. Whether a real estate agent or school teacher, it’s safe to say you want to know when giving a permit that the person isn’t making up a fictitious name. It’s a simple concept. The Chief of Police will be signing off on permits and he wants to make sure they’re who they say they are… Uber is a great company, but we also have to maintain public safety.