Thursday, March 29, 2012

I was Fingerprinted by the Police

Me.  Little old me.  Who has never had so much as a parking ticket.  (Thanks to the wonderful people of Charlottetown, PEI - a post for another day).  It was nerve-wracking, being escorted into the back of the police station by an OPP officer to be fingerprinted like a criminal.  Ten years ago I would have said screw you, I'm standing up for my Charter rights and there is no way on earth I'll agree to be printed.  Who knows what nefarious planting of evidence might happen.  What a drag to have fingerprints on file if I decide to become a serial killer down the road (I ♥ Dexter).  Most importantly what happens when littering becomes a death penalty offence and the fingerprints they found on that carelessly discarded wrapper are now on file? 

Even five years ago I would have refused - I guess I'm getting old and beaten down by the man.  I certainly never expected Leaf to have more reservations about me getting fingerprinted than I did.  We talked about it a fair bit, both being somewhat libertarian at heart (with framed Charter of Rights and Freedoms at our house).  I was a little annoyed to discover that a few months ago, I wouldn't have needed to be fingerprinted at all, but the RCMP has made changes to the way they do Criminal Record checks for Vulnerable Sector Screening.  I certainly didn't need fingerprints the last time I did a Check to be a supply teacher.  Apparently, some naughty person either has a similar name or the same birthdate as I do, so my identity needed to be confirmed.

Are we a less trusting society?  Is there reason to be less trustful, or are we so often manipulated by manufactured fear as a method of control that we now believe there are perverts and murderers among the parents of every kindergarten class?  I'm pretty sure my mum didn't need a criminal record check when she used to volunteer in my classes.  Don't get me wrong, I know there are bad people out there, but is fingerprinting the answer?  It seems to me that in almost every case of child molestation you hear of, someone was suspicious or raised concerns but nothing was done.

Whatever.  I want to be able to volunteer in Mars' class, I offered to help out with the school chess club, and as a board member of our local soccer club we're talking about requiring them for soccer eventually as well.  So I submitted to the Police State with some reservations.  There was quite a delay in getting the results, but "A Search of the Pardoned Sex Offender Data Base has been checked with negative results".  Yay, I'm not a pardoned perv, but it makes me wonder why a perv would be able to get a pardon in the first place.