Small Connecticut Town Will Test Background Check Vendors with Next City Employee

By Michael Klazema on 11/12/2013

Normally, when it comes to background checks and employee screening processes, it’s a nervous applicant or employee who is being tested. Next time the city government hires an employee in the small town of Brooklyn, Connecticut, however, a pair of background check vendors will be competing in a test of their own.

In a rather unorthodox move, the Board of Selectman for the Connecticut town of Brooklyn—a small town with a population of less than 10,000 and not to be confused with the New York City borough—has decided to make the background check for its next city government employee a double-edged sword to assess both applicant and background check provider. The Connecticut town is considering two vendors as it moves toward establishing more substantial employee screening processes for local government positions. Both entities charge roughly the same amount for a basic background check, and city officials plan to have both companies prepare a background check for the city’s next employee. Whichever company prepares the “better” background check report will win the allegiance of the town government, and theoretically, will be contracted for all town employment screenings in the future.

Beyond the headline-catching double background check testing plan, the news out of Brooklyn, Connecticut is significant because it indicates just how prevalent thorough employee screening processes are becoming. Brooklyn, like many small towns throughout the United States, is a small and trusting community where background checks, even for government employees, have never been notably enforced.

But news of shootings, theft, and untrustworthy employees in off-the-beaten-path cities has left even America’s smallest towns calling for background checks. In Brooklyn, the call came over the summer, after a group of residents submitted a petition to the town government asking the Recreation Department employees—workers who commonly interact with children—be background checked prior to employment. That petition led to one of the background check vendors that the town will soon test, and encouraged the government to consider background checks or drug screening measures for other municipal sectors.

The story in Brooklyn, Connecticut may well indicate where most American small towns are headed. Before long, it is likely that all government employees—federal, statewide, and local—will be beholden to background checks, and thorough screening measures are becoming popular for private entities as well. For that reason, companies like are becoming more and more relevant. The ability to search over 450 million criminal records instantly, as allows with services like the US OneSEARCH check, is now a vital component in building a comprehensive background check that does limit the search to the town or state border. Every employer these days, from high-profile corporate entities to local small business owners, needs to be able to check the backgrounds of their applicants, and easy-to-use web services like and a comprehensive list of background check products are key decision points for human resource departments to consider in selecting their next vendor.


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