Chicago Sheriff to screen all 7000 employees

Feb 25, 2009 - 9:35 am | By

Public Relations is hard enough for landlords and property owners once a bad tenant moves in.  But recently with the background check problem in Los Angeles, the Cook County Sheriff in Chicago has announced they will be screening all 7000 sworn and civilian employees of the Cook County Sheriff’s Department. 

It will be interesting how the Cook County Sheriff’s Department proceeds with their background check program.  They say “any sworn officer with a felony conviction can’t keep that post”  Hopefully the Chicago police always conducting background checks on all officer candidates.  It seems unlikely that a currently employed sworn officer could be convicted of a felony without their employer becoming aware of it.  Not unless they took a leave of absence and went to California.  The implication here is that the Sheriff’s Department probably didn’t conduct a comprehensive background check of all officer candidates, or the focus is on the civilian employees of the Department. 

The sheriff’ s spokesman stated, “As for civilian employees, we’d look at it on a case-by-case basis.”

An employer should establish a firm screening policy for background checks to avoid any allegations of favoritism or discrimination.  Also, for the civilian employees it seems the department must adhere to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which would indicate they must ignore some crimes occurring more than seven years ago.

Hopefully the Chicago Police and the  Cook County Sheriff’s Department are able to weed out any potential problems before it makes the papers.

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