去年秋天，当克利夫兰的一名警察开枪打死一名挥舞塑料枪的 12 岁男孩时，该地区的人们开始怀疑该部门对警官的筛查有什么样的政策。当得知这名警官是从不同的警察局调来的，而克利夫兰警方从未查看过他的人事档案时，这一消息引起了轩然大波。克利夫兰不仅改变了筛选警官的政策，而且这一事件还激发了全国各地的新闻媒体对当地警察部门的现行政策感到好奇。
北卡罗来纳州格林斯博罗的 WFMY 新闻就是这种情况，这是一家当地新闻媒体，最近进行了一些挖掘，以确定该地区的警察和治安部门如何筛选他们的官员。事实证明，在检查员工时，格林斯博罗的警察部队非常擅长覆盖所有基地。事实上，格林斯博罗警察背景场次可能只是什么，光靠执法检查的原型应该是。
Winston-Salem 也是一个例外，因为该部门经常超出北卡罗来纳州执法背景调查的最低标准。例如，如果一名警官从另一个执法办公室来到温斯顿 - 塞勒姆，该部门将要求查看他或她的旧机构的人事档案。通过这种方式，他们可以查看个人在旧职位上是否存在滥用权力或不服从的问题。
温斯顿-塞勒姆警察局并不是格林斯博罗地区唯一对新员工进行筛查的执法部门非常相似。相反，吉尔福德县警长部门有自己独特的方法来评估一个人的可信度：语音阅读。在面试潜在的新员工时，该部门会用一个复杂的软件记录他们的声音。该软件会跟踪一个人声音中不同的 AM 和 FM 音调，并且可以使用读数来确定某人何时在说谎。当然，被系统标记为不诚实的人在颁发徽章和枪支的名单上并不高。
That was the case with WFMY News in Greensboro, North Carolina, a local news outlet that recently did some digging to determine precisely how police and sheriff's departments in the area screen their officers. As it turns out, Greensboro's police forces are incredibly good about covering all bases when it comes to checking their employees. In fact, Greensboro's police background screenings might just be the prototype of what law enforcement checks of this ilk should be.
WFMY profiled two law enforcement offices in the Greensboro area. The first one, the Winston-Salem Police Department, claims that each rookie on the force has a personnel file that is "a few inches thick." These files contain criminal records collected from every county in which an applicant has lived, worked, served in the military, or even visited repeatedly or for long periods of time. That's right: if someone spends their summers in Florida each year, the department orders a check in Florida.
This kind of thoroughness alone is admirable. By using address histories and ordering checks in the areas where a person has lived or worked, employers are likely to catch most criminal infractions. If someone was convicted with a crime while on an out-of-state vacation, though, employers can sometimes miss that's simply because they don't think to run checks in those areas. The Winston-Salem police force is an exception that rule.
Winston-Salem is also an exception in that the department routinely goes above and beyond North Carolina's minimum standards for law enforcement background checks. For instance, if an officer comes to Winston-Salem from another law enforcement office, the department will demand to see his or her personnel file from the old agency. That way, they can see if the individual had any issues with abusing their power or otherwise being insubordinate while at an old post.
The Winston-Salem Police isn't the only Greensboro-area law enforcement department that takes the screening of new recruits very similarly. On the contrary, the Guilford County Sheriff's Department has its own unique means of assessing how trustworthy a person is: voice reading. While interviewing potential recruits, the department records their voices with a complex piece of software. The software tracks the different AM and FM tones in a person's voice, and can use the readings to determine when someone is lying. Naturally, someone flagged by the system as dishonest is not high on the list to be issued a badge and gun.
These above-and-beyond measures for screening applicants go a long way toward keeping the police force in Greensboro honest and dependable. Since North Carolina only requires a few standard steps, a basic criminal check, a psychological assessment, a drug test, a medical check-up, and a reference check, it's definitely comforting to know that individual departments are filling in the gaps with their own policies. Other law enforcement departments in the United States would do well to adopt similar policies.