Corra Daily Planet » 2006 » May

Port Workers to Undergo Background Checks

Tue, May 23rd, 2006 - 11:09 am - By Gordon Basichis

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 We recently spotted this article from Associated Press on Breitbart


Answering criticism about security gaps at U.S. seaports, the Bush administration said Tuesday it will conduct background checks on an estimated 400,000 port workers to ensure they do not pose a terrorist threat.

Names of employees who work in the most sensitive areas of ports will be matched against government terror watch lists and immigration databases, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said. Additionally, the Homeland Security Department will issue tamper-free identification cards to roughly 750,000 workers _ including truckers and rail employees _ who have unrestricted assess to ports.”

I suppose all we can say is, it’s about time.   With all the rhetoric about securing the borders and defending ourselves against undocumented workers, it’s pretty amazing that nobody thought that perhaps if even a miniscule amount of the 400, 000 dockworkers had a suspicious backgrond that would still be a substantial amount to warrant investigation.  Just a small percentage of 400,00 dockworkers, as sabateurs, could create havoc and destruction.   Well from Corra’s standpoint, as a background checking service, this is but one more place where employees should receive a throrough background check before being cast into the workplace.
At the end of the day, with all cost considerations being what they are, nothing is cheaper than spending a few bucks to run a background check.  Ultimately, it will bring more positive results than even the most advanced technology and surveillance security devices.


Protecting the Prom Queen

Mon, May 15th, 2006 - 11:55 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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We came across the article recently and thought we would post at least part of it for your review. This story ran in the Cape Cod Times
May 10, 2006

The CORI dance
SOUTH YARMOUTH – As state officials investigate the legality of a controversial prom policy at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, administrators and police are saying little about unauthorized criminal background checks they conducted on 40 student dates who do not attend the school.Kenneth Jenks, D-Y principal, confirmed Monday that the school ran criminal records checks on any non-D-Y students invited to Saturday’s prom and that at least six dates were denied a ticket because of some type of criminal history involving a drug or alcohol offense or violent crime.Two more female seniors at D-Y came forward yesterday to criticize the policy, both claiming the school gave no indication their dates would face a records check that may bar them from the dance. The students say their dates, both longtime boyfriends, have attended D-Y events – including a prom – in the past and that both fully served their sentences for misdemeanor offenses.
The Criminal History Systems Board, the state agency in charge of enforcing the Massachusetts criminal records law, confirmed yesterday that the department was investigating the D-Y policy.
The criminal records checks were conducted by the school’s resource officers – police officers, one from each town, who work inside the high school. The policy is in place for the first time this year and followed increasing concern about non-D-Y students attending the school event, Jenks said Monday. He gave no specific examples, however, and said he knew of no other school districts in the state with a similar background check policy.
Jenks also said Monday that ”the guest agrees that we do that check.” He cited a consent form sent home by the school but refused to provide a copy to the Times.
No mention of checks
Obtained yesterday, the form, ”DYRHS Senior Prom Guest Guidelines and Procedures,” makes no mention of criminal records checks. It does state guests must be under 21 years old; students must provide a photocopy of their date’s picture ID to be used at the door for admission; the D-Y student is responsible for the guest’s actions; and all attendees are subject to alcohol breath tests.The prom policy in the school’s 2005-2006 Parent & Student Handbook lists similar guidelines for non-D-Y guests, but includes nothing about criminal records checks.

Well talk about a buzz kill, or being a little too strident. We have to wonder if from night has gotten so blatantly out of hand that background searches are warranted. It is not like you hear a lot of news about rioting on prom night, or the prom queen being goaded by hard cases into robbing a bank. I’m sure if this was the case the news media wouldn’t hesitate to belabor us with the detials for months on end.Is this really a valid effort to protect the well being of the students, or is this one more case bureacratic overkill? We are sure arguments can be made either way. For us at Corra, in the background checking business, the whole incident is almost funny.

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