Recent Book Discusses Importance of Background Checks for Public Safety Officials

By Michael Klazema on 10/30/2013

Published last year, Pre-Employment Background Investigations for Public Safety Professionals provides a thorough examinations of the background check system. Written by Frank A. Colaprete, a former police lieutenant who currently serves as a criminal justice administration professor at Keuka College in New York, Pre-Employment Background Investigations for Public Safety Professionals is structured like a textbook, with various chapters set up with learning objectives, instrumental concepts, key terms, and definitions.

The length, thorough index section, and exhaustive bibliography also reflects the textbook aesthetic, as does the price-a steep $94.95 for the hardcover and a not-substantially-more-affordable $89.96 for the Kindle e-book version. Still, those interested in the background check industry should not be scared away by Colaprete's academic approach, or by the book's ability to empty your wallet. It might not be the cheapest read in the world, but this text is thoroughly essential nonetheless.

Throughout the 623 pages that make up Pre-Employment Background Investigations for Public Safety Professionals, Frank Colaprete discusses how background checks and pre-employment screenings have been more commonplace than ever before in the post-9/11 world, and how public safety sectors have justifiably born the brunt of that shift more than any other industry. He offers in-depth, thoughtful, and thoroughly researched discussions into the implications of such screening processes, the laws relevant to pre-employment investigations (and to the applicant-hiring process in general), and the possible future paths that background checks could take. Finally, Colaprete addresses the importance of additional medical and psychological tests and background checks for firefighters, cops, and other public safety individuals. Needless to say, the author essentially covers the gamut of background checking for the public sector with this book.

From the structure of the book, it's easy to assume that Colaprete meant Pre-Employment Background Investigations for Public Safety Professionals to be the Bible for his criminal justice administration students at Keuka college. However, the book's reach goes beyond the classroom, and even beyond the public safety sector. Any cop or firefighter going through the application process-or for that matter, any public safety department in the process of vetting prospective employees-would be employees could pick up valuable pointers from this book.

However, there are also valuable lessons to be learned here for anyone in the background checking industry and anyone needing to learn the basics of setting up an effective employee screening process. There's a lot here about weeding out unsuitable applicants while simultaneously zeroing in on optimal employees, and it's all material that, used alongside services in the "Traditional Criminal Searches" or "Drug Screening" sections, could turn any new human resource professional into an expert of the employment screening process.


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