Town Adopts Background Check Policy

Published 5:01 pm Thursday, June 30, 2011

FARMVILLE – Town Council has adopted an ordinance requiring background checks.

“It's the same ordinance that Chesterfield County has,” Town Manager Gerald Spates told council members during their continued June meeting. “We have to have an ordinance to be able to do the background checks.”

The document explains that, “In the interest of public welfare and safety it is necessary to determine whether the past criminal and/or child protective services conduct of each person…is compatible with the nature of each person's employment.”

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The background checks are not just for new employees.

“Any programs that we do…Even people that have been doing it for 10 years,” the town manager explained, “have to have background checks.”

Spates told Town Council, “I think it will make parents feel better too.”

Ward B council member Sally Thompson added, “and it's for our own protection.”

The Town's background check will be in addition to those authorized by local, state or federal law and will be conducted by the town manager or his designees within the Town's government.

These background checks will include criminal history record searches and sex offender and crimes against minors registry searches for all applicants for full-time employment who are offered a conditional offer of employment with the Town, all employees who are being promoted to a position in their own or another department or applying for a transfer to a position in another department, as well as all applicants for part-time employment in safety sensitive positions, as determined by the town manager, who are offered conditional offers of employment, the ordinance stipulates.

The same slate of background checks, according to the ordinance's requirements, will also be run on full and part-time Town employees who provide services for juveniles or who provide maintenance services at local schools, and applicants for Town employment, both full-time and part-time, who will hold such positions and who have received a conditional offer of employment.

But that's not all.

Those very same series of background checks, the ordinance orders, will be conducted on volunteers for Town departments who will provide services to juveniles, and volunteer rescue squads.

The ordinance gives the town manager authority, furthermore, to identify employee and volunteer positions that meet the criteria and to add those to the background check list.

All applicants for employment given a conditional offer of employment will additionally provide the Town with two sets of fingerprints for processing a nationwide background check, the ordinance states.