Blog

 
     

Dallas County Considering Background Checks on Some Volunteers

By Michael Klazema on 3/13/2012

In recent months, two people with weapons charges against them, one with a felony forgery count and another who was convicted of running a identity theft ring were all volunteers for the Dallas county homeland security office and no one knew about their backgrounds because Dallas county does not run background checks on their volunteers. This lack of screening allowed convicted felons to work in areas of high sensitivity within county offices. What makes this even more troubling is that all of these volunteers were working as volunteer firefighters and had been serving since last fall.

County commissioners have been discussing this issue and are expected to vote on two background check policy changes within the coming days and weeks, one of them will be to perform background checks on county volunteers like those mentioned above. Though there are currently state laws that require background checks for those working in the county juvenile department, other departments are not yet required to background check their volunteers. If county commissioners have anything to say about it, this will likely change soon.

One thing that may stand in the way of these background checks is cost. It is unknown at this time how many volunteers currently work for the county, but it is estimated that the departments of juvenile and health and human services have about 1500 between the two of them. This number doesn’t even take into consideration the other county departments that employ volunteers. With an average cost of about $30 per background check, the county could have problems paying for them. Another problem that could arise is that county officials feel that the results of these background checks would force many volunteers to be terminated from their positions which could affect the day to day business of county offices.

On the flip side of all of this, some county officials offered that even if the background checks came back with extensive criminal backgrounds, these people should still be able to serve as volunteers. Most, however, do not agree with this stance. For the county of Dallas, hiring a third party processor like backgroundchecks.com, would be an efficient way to process these checks quickly and apply consistent adjudication standards in order to assure the safety of the county offices and the public visiting them.

About backgroundchecks.com -

backgroundchecks.com - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services.  Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., backgroundchecks.com is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit www.backgroundchecks.com.

For more information about our authors click here.

Source: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/dallas/headlines/20120304-dallas-county-explores-expanding-background-checks-to-certain-volunteers.ece


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.


  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.
  • June 04 The organization, The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRCNMS) was founded on the belief that families are the heart of community and that promoting healthy families leads to healthy communities. Read more about how they carefully screen and vet new employees with the help of backgroundchecks.com.
  • June 01 Past mistakes can have lingering effects in criminal records that appear on background checks. People with minor convictions can erase those mistakes for help starting over. 
  • May 29 The city of Greenley, Colorado has added background checks and new affidavits to its process for screening candidates for city council. The new measures come after a candidate with a felony conviction for forgery got elected as city councilman.