LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - City Clerk, Chris Swope, says that ice cream truck owners and drivers have to get a background check in order to get a peddler’s license in Lansing.
Swope says, “Particularly with ice cream because it's usually children who are buying from them. And we want to make sure nobody has a history of being a sex offender."
Lansing has a list of all approved sellers on the city’s website. One of the companies on that list is Kona, Ice, owned by Randy Gross.
Gross said licensing is important but so is the appearance.
He says, “A lot of the ice cream trucks are run down vans or their trucks are really run down and I would have a problem buying from a vehicle that isn’t well maintained"
Swope told me what precautions parents and kids need to take when it comes to ice cream trucks.
He says, "You do still need to exercise physical caution and then you know check for that license to make sure that this is someone who has passed our city background check."
I spoke with parents about how they feel about ice cream trucks and they told me what precautions they need to take. Time Wade, a parent in Lansing, said that every local business, especially ice cream trucks, needs to have a license.
Wade says, "I always watch my kids when they go to the truck. I know there are probably kids who don't get watched, so I could see why that would definitely come into play."
Swope told me drivers are required to carry their license with them in their truck, but some parents think they need to take it a step further.
Wade says, “I feel like maybe they should have it on display. So you shouldn't have to ask for it. You know to see that as soon as you walk up as well as the kids."
The Lansing police department completes a background check on all individuals who apply for a peddling license. They also check tax records to make sure people are paying taxes before a license is approved.