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Bradenton Herald

Florida task force considers fingerprinting caregivers

By Josh Hafenbrack and Sally Kestin
October 22, 2009

TALLAHASSEE | A governor's task force is exploring a statewide electronic fingerprinting system for caregivers of Florida's children, elderly and disabled.

Top officials from eight state agencies met Thursday to examine problems identified in a recent Sun Sentinel investigative series that found thousands of criminals working in day care and nursing home jobs.

"We all want to come up with solutions, make sure we're doing everything we can to protect the public,'' said Eric Eikenberg, chief of staff to Gov. Charlie Crist. "It's critically important that we do this and we do this right."

Electronic fingerprinting is a faster, cheaper way to check for criminal histories, and storing the prints would give the state a way to monitor employees for new arrests. The group will meet again next week and present recommendations to the governor by Nov. 2.