In an effort to keep their kids safe, the Lyndhurst township in New Jersey is creating a new ordinance that would require crossing guards to have background checks before being hired or reappointed. Crossing guards there are already required to give notice of any criminal convictions, but there were no procedures in place to confirm whether or not their records were clean. The township also plans to stop the accrual of sick days and the clothing allowances crossing guards previously enjoyed. They decided to review their current position after budget concerns became an issue and before state mandates force them to make similar changes. And Mayor Richard Dilascio says it’s simply, “a safety issue.”
Crossing guards there are required to be moral and upstanding citizens of New Jersey that do not have any criminal convictions showing moral turpitude. The background checks will be just one more step to confirm that their guards are actually held to the high standards they have set. With 37 different crossing guards having daily access to kids, Traffic Officer Nick Coviello believes it’s an obvious move, saying, "The reason is they are working with children. It's common sense to me."
The ordinance will prevent those with criminal histories “involving danger to a person, against family, children or incompetents…arson, burglary, theft, controlled dangerous substances offenses and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, offenses against public administration, perjury and other falsification in official matters, obstructing governmental operations, misconduct in office and/or abuse of office.” These are all crimes the township has defined as involving moral turpitude. Any current crossing guards who are found to have any of these offenses on their record will not be reinstated in the coming year.
This employment process of verifying information provided by applicant is getting more and more common these days. Any organization who employs people who will work with children might want to consider following in New Jersey’s footsteps. They can partner with backgroundchecks.com, which would give them access to multi-jurisdictional database searches covering over 355 million records from over 600 sources. This information comes from national databases like US OneSEARCH, which checks records in all 50 states, and US AliasSEARCH, which even checks records under alternate names. When it comes to the safety of our children, we really can’t be too careful, and submitting employees to background checks is just one more way to keep our children safe.
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backgroundchecks.com - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and cofounder of the Expungement Clearinghouse - 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.