Eatontown Firefighters and First Aids Squads May Be Required to Pass Recurring Background Checks

By Michael Klazema on 3/5/2013

At the end of last month the Borough Council of Eatontown met to discuss an amendment that will require recurring background checks on all members of firefighters and first aid squad members. If passed, this ordinance amendment will require all of these first responders to undergo a fingerprint-based background check every three years that they are a part of the organization. Before drafting the amendment, the idea was discussed first with the first emergency responders who had no objections.

Currently, all firefighters and first aid responders are required to submit to fingerprint-based criminal background checks upon hiring, but there are no follow--up checks. Borough Administrator George Jackson states that "We have no way of knowing in the interim if they have any arrests and convictions. The possibility is that someone could be arrested or convicted in another part of the state and we'd have no idea." Since these first responders have access to people's homes, Jackson wants to ensure that they have no criminal activity on their records for as long as they are working for these emergency first responder units. This will not only bring peace of mind to the civilians, but also help protect these units from any potential liability. Jackson states that the council is also discussing if the amendment should include members of the borough's Office of Emergency Management and Community Emergency Response team. Unfortunately, their membership policies are not as clear cut as those for the fire department or the first aid squad.

Currently, there are no discussions on requiring recurring checks of other employees, such as police officers and civilian employees of the court or law enforcement. Like the firefighters and first aid responders, they undergo an initial criminal background check with no follow-up checks. Jackson states the borough would be aware of police officers convicted of crimes in other jurisdictions. It's unclear how they will become aware, though it's possible that the borough receives reports from other counties regarding their own police officers.

Although having a background check come back clean doesn't necessarily mean that an individual has never committed a crime, it does lend more credibility to these institutions. Currently, Eatontown is one of the first cities in the United States to discuss implementing a recurring background check. Most other cities only do an initial check, with many only doing a county check versus a state-wide and national. Many firehouses have taken it upon themselves to run a recurring background check on their employees and volunteers for liability purposes without pressure from the borough council. There is currently no national legislation requiring background checks on these first responders, and it is therefore up to the county and state to set rules.

Should your organization decide to extend screening to recurring checks, it would be easy to do so with the help of You can start with their US OneSEARCH tool, which will check more than 450 million criminal records across the nation, and subscribe to their Ongoing Criminal Monitoring solution. This service will alert you each month, should any new criminal records appear for your current employees. This is a convenient and affordable service that makes keeping tabs on the criminal behavior of your employees much easier than ever before.

About - - 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., is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit



Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 11 The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General criticized a migrant youth detention center on the border for not running the proper background checks. Federal law requires the facility to screen all employees with FBI fingerprint checks.
  • December 06 In a bid to combat money laundering and illicit funding sources for terrorists flowing through the country's real estate sector, Singapore's government now mandates background checks for buyers purchasing properties prior to development.
  • December 04 What is a reference check? How does it vary from a work history check? We explore these questions and others.
  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 For hiring managers to verify the information provided on a resume, verification is essential.  Such is the purpose of employment history background checks.
  • November 27 California’s biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 21

    Verification checks are a powerful way to assess how truthful a job candidate has been on his or her application or resume. These checks can verify work history, education verification, professional licenses, and favorable personal qualities.