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城镇要求对志愿救援人员进行背景调查

7 月 2 日,菲利普斯堡市议会批准了一项新的、更严格的背景调查政策。该政策针对为城镇赞助的项目或组织工作的志愿者,例如青年体育、老年人项目以及消防和救援行动。

菲利普斯堡应急小组主席克里斯·李是新政策的坚定支持者。他认为,所有为公众服务的志愿者都应该有一个干净的背景。由于该镇雇用的当地消防员和其他应急人员已经接受了基于指纹的背景调查,Lee 认为让志愿者遵守同样的标准是有意义的。毕竟,志愿者与受薪人员有着相同的责任和潜在的相同诱惑。

李说,知道他所在部门的志愿者已经通过了背景调查,这将使社区成员在紧急服务志愿者的访问期间对他们的财产安全放心。这对老年人尤其重要,因为老年人通常被认为是容易受到虐待的人群。例如,对老年人的盗窃有时是由照料者或其他据称在场帮助他们的人犯下的。

菲利普斯堡的新背景调查政策在纸面上听起来不错,但在实践中会有效吗?批评者不太确定。该政策的第一个缺陷是,活跃的消防和应急志愿者不需要接受背景调查,因为该政策仅适用于新志愿者。这可能使该镇有可能在不知情的情况下允许有盗窃犯罪记录的当前志愿者进入居民家中,并可能受到诱惑再次犯罪。在这种情况下,该镇可能因疏忽未能保护公众而受到指责。

为了最大限度地让志愿者和员工的诚信放心,该镇最好投资于Ongoing Crime Monitoring,这是一项可从 backgroundchecks.com 获得的服务。

该镇背景调查政策的第二个缺陷可能源于所使用的背景调查类型。许多志愿者组织使用免费的背景调查,这些调查可以通过州警察获得。但是,这些背景调查通常仅限于该州的记录。自然,为了全面了解个人的犯罪记录并避免忽视其他州的定罪,必须使用国家背景调查工具。

可以从 第三方背调公司 获得这样的工具。US OneSEARCH 是一种全国性背景调查产品,可将姓名和出生日期与从全国各州和地方数据库中收集的超过 4.5 亿条记录进行比较。

对于许多社区来说,预算通常是决定背景调查的彻底性和频率的一个因素。城镇经常难以找到一种政策,既要保护社区免受不必要的犯罪分子接触,又要避免在背景调查上花费过多。这种控制成本的愿望可能是菲利普斯堡的背景调查政策似乎不完整的部分原因。只有时间才能证明他们是否在政策上取得了良好的平衡,以及是否足以保护当地居民。

On July 2, a new, stricter background check policy was approved by the town council in Phillipsburg. The policy targets volunteers working for town-sponsored programs or organizations, such as youth sports, programs for the elderly, and fire and rescue operations.

Chris Lee, the president of the Phillipsburg Emergency Squad, is a solid supporter of the new policy. He believes that all volunteers serving the public should have a clean background. Because local firefighters and other emergency personnel employed by the town already undergo fingerprint-based background checks, Lee feels that it makes sense to hold volunteers to this same standard. After all, the volunteers have the same responsibilities and potentially the same temptations as paid personnel.

Lee said that knowing that volunteers with his department have passed background checks will give members of the community peace of mind regarding the safety and security of their possessions during a visit from emergency service volunteers. This is particularly important for seniors, as the elderly are often considered a population vulnerable to abuse. For example, thefts against the elderly are sometimes committed by caretakers or other individuals that are supposedly present to help them.

Phillipsburg’s new background check policy sounds good on paper, but will it be effective in practice? Detractors aren’t so sure. The first flaw in the policy is that active fire and emergency volunteers will not be required to undergo background checks, because the policy only applies to new volunteers. This may leave the town open to the possibility of unwittingly allowing a current volunteer with a criminal record for theft to enter residents’ homes and potentially become tempted to commit another crime. In this case, the town could be blamed for negligence in failing to protect the public.

For maximum peace of mind regarding the integrity of volunteers and employees alike, the town would do well to invest in Ongoing Criminal Monitoring, a service which is available from backgroundchecks.com. This service provides employers with an automatic email notification any time an employee’s name and date of birth comes up in relation to criminal activity in backgroundcheck.com’s multi-jurisdictional database.

A second flaw in the town’s background check policy may stem from the type of background check that is used. Many volunteer organizations use free background checks that are available to them through the state police. However, these background checks are often limited to records in that state only. Naturally, to get a full picture of an individual’s criminal record and avoid overlooking convictions in other states, a national background check tool must be used.

Such a tool is available from backgroundchecks.com. US OneSEARCH is a national background check product that compares a name and date of birth against a collection of over 450 million records culled from state and local databases across the country.

For many communities, budget is often a factor in determining the thoroughness and frequency of background checks. Towns often struggle to find a policy that balances their need to protect the community from unnecessary exposure to criminals and their need to avoid spending too much on background checks. This desire to control costs may be part of the reason that Phillipsburg’s background check policy seems incomplete. Only time will tell whether they’ve struck a good balance in their policy and whether it will be sufficient to protect local residents.

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