A new FBI criminal history monitoring program known as Rap Back will continuously check enrolled employees for arrests, court convictions and other improper activities using scanned fingerprints. Other things that can trigger an alert are arrest warrants, immigration violations and inclusion on a sex offender database, reports the Dallas Morning News. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport employees will be among the first in the U.S. to take advantage of the program this fall, using a Texas Department of Public Safety database of electronic fingerprint images. Other types of employees, such as teachers, doctors, nurses and even Little League coaches, may eventually be scrutinized by the program. The system checks for felony-level offenses only, said William McKinsey, section chief of biometrics for the FBI. Traffic tickets and other minor infractions will not be monitored. The program went live July 2 in Utah, with 61 people enrolled.
Some of those employees worked in law enforcement while the remainder were in civilian jobs such as teaching. “We want to identify those people who are in positions of trust,” McKinsey said. “We don't expect to have a huge high hit rate. But if someone commits a felony-level offense, we will let the appropriate subscribing agency know, and then they will take whatever action they think is appropriate.” Rap Back is part of the FBI's Next Generation Identification program, the largest biometric identity database in the world that includes palm prints and facial and iris recognition technologies. Authorities can also run searches on scars, marks and tattoos. Rap Back uses the fingerprints that employees provide when they're hired, tracking future arrests and other legal entanglements. Currently, employee background checks provide only a “one-time snapshot” of someone's criminal history, the FBI says.