Center backlogged as number of background checks skyrockets

Fingers are scanned about every 10 minutes at Beaumont Occupational Services on Fannin Street. It's a critical step when getting a criminal background check, and Beaumont Occupational Services owner Joe Clark says more people than ever are coming in to get their prints taken.

"We've never seen this dramatic of an increase... and we see no end to it," Clark told 12News.

Clark says over the past 6 weeks or so, the center has seen a 15% increase in appointments. The reason? Clark says it has to do with the growing number of people getting their concealed handgun license, which requires a background check.
And the increase is making it harder for people to get an early appointment.

"They cannot get the appointment as fast as they need to. In fact we've run into nurses and those in the educational field that run up against deadlines; they have to have this background check completed by a certain date. Well they wait too late, they think they can get the appointment within a week, and they get online only to discover it's two weeks out before the next opening," Clark said.

Sometimes the wait is even longer than two weeks.
"It took us approximately three weeks to get lined up to come in here," said Vidor resident Myron Butler, who was there because he's in the process of getting his concealed handgun license.

Clark says the center is taking measures to help alleviate the backlog. It'll soon be open two Saturdays a month, and employees are staying an extra hour, sometimes two, each day.
"If we have to stay open late we'll stay open late," Clark put it simply.

Clark says Beaumont Occupational Services is the only place in the Golden Triangle that offers fingerprint scanning for background checks. Employees say they help as many as 65 people a day.    



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