[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Leonia as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 8-11-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-10]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. I, Recreation Department Background Screening Policy, adopted 3-19-2012 by Ord. No. 07-12.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD BACKGROUND CHECK
- A determination of whether a person has a criminal record by cross-referencing that person's name and fingerprints with those on file with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division, and the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police.
- CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION or CHRI
- Information collected by criminal justice agencies concerning persons and stored in the computer databases of the New Jersey State Police SBI Criminal History Information System, the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System or other states' computerized depositories containing criminal history record information consisting of identifiable descriptions and notations of arrests, indictments or other formal criminal charges, and any dispositions arising therefrom, including convictions, dismissals, correctional supervision and release.
- The Borough of Leonia Police Department.
- NONCRIMINAL JUSTICE PURPOSE
- Any purpose, other than administration of criminal justice or criminal justice purpose, including employment and licensing, for which applicant fingerprints and search requests are submitted by authorized requesters, as required or permitted by a federal or state statute, rule or regulation, executive order, administrative code provision, local ordinance, resolution or by this article, to the State Bureau of Identification for the dissemination of criminal history record information.
- NONPROFIT YOUTH-SERVING ORGANIZATION or ORGANIZATION
- A corporation, association or other organization established pursuant to Title 15 or 15A of the New Jersey Statutes, or other law of this state, but excluding public and nonpublic schools, and which provides recreational, cultural, charitable, social or other activities or services for persons younger than 18 years of age and is exempt from federal income taxes. For the purpose of this article, all independent Leonia sports associations, including all programs sponsored by the Leonia Recreation Department or Commission, as well as any organization or association using any Leonia parks or recreational facilities for organized recreational activities or programs.
- REVIEW COMMITTEE
- The three-member Committee will consist of the Borough Administrator, the Superintendent of Recreation, and the Chief of Police or designee. The Committee shall be charged with the review of all appeals of any volunteer whose criminal history background check reveals a disqualifying criminal conviction.
- STATE BUREAU OF IDENTIFICATION or SBI
- The New Jersey State Bureau of Identification created by P.L. 1930, c. 65 (N.J.S.A. 53:1-12 et seq.).
- VOLUNTEER COACH
- Any person involved with coaching or supervising participants in a nonprofit youth-serving organization, whether the title is coach, assistant coach, manager or another title consistent with these terms. This shall also include any employee or volunteer authorized by the Recreation Department or Commission to supervise any Borough-sponsored program or activity.
- VOLUNTEER REVIEW OPERATION (VRO)
- The unit located within the State Bureau of Identification that is responsible for administering criminal background checks for volunteer coaches as specified in this article.
The Borough requires that all employees and volunteers, including a volunteer coach, of a nonprofit youth-serving organization request, every two years, through the Department, that the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police conduct a criminal history record background check on each prospective and current employee or volunteer of the organization in accordance with N.J.A.C. 13:59-1.1 et seq. and with the procedures and guidelines adopted by the VRO. No person will be permitted to act as a volunteer coach until the results of the background checks have been received and reviewed by the Department. Each employee or volunteer under this section shall also have an ongoing duty to report to the Borough any new information which would be revealed by such a search.
[Amended 12-1-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-13]
The Division of State Police shall inform the Department whether the person's criminal history record background check reveals a conviction of a disqualifying crime or offense as specified in § 64-3 of this article.
The Recreation Department shall request a criminal history record background check only upon receipt of the written consent to the check from the prospective or current employee or volunteer which shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police or designee to conduct the background check.
The Recreation Department shall bear the cost associated with conducting criminal history background checks in accordance with fees established by the State Bureau of Identification and the Division of State Police and in accordance with N.J.S.A. 15A:3A-2d for all programs sponsored by the Recreation Department. In the case of other nonprofit organizations using Leonia parks or facilities, the said organization is responsible for the fees associated with the background check.
Criminal history background checks will be performed for individuals under the age of 18 in accordance with N.J.A.C. 13:59-1.1 et seq. and with the procedures and guidelines adopted by the VRO.
[Amended 12-1-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-13]
Any prospective or current volunteer coach of a nonprofit youth-serving organization who refuses to consent to this procedure at least one month prior to his or her starting date shall not be permitted to participate in any sponsored or cosponsored programs involving nonprofit youth-serving organizations.
A person may be disqualified from serving as an employee or volunteer of a nonprofit youth-serving organization if that person's criminal history record background check reveals a disqualifying record in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 15A:3A-1 et seq.
In any other state or jurisdiction, conduct which, if committed in New Jersey, would constitute a disqualifying record in accordance with N.J.S.A. 15A:3A-1 et seq. may also constitute grounds for disqualification.
Prospective or current employees and volunteers of nonprofit youth-serving organizations shall submit their name, address, fingerprints and written consent to the recreational organization for which the criminal history record background check is to be performed. The organization shall submit this documentation to the Department, which shall transmit such information to the VRO. Thereafter, all information required for subsequent background checks shall be submitted to the Department, which shall coordinate criminal background checks every 24 months after the date of the initial check.
The Department shall act as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information obtained as a result of conducting criminal history record background checks pursuant to this article.
Access to criminal history record information for noncriminal justice purposes, including licensing and employment, is restricted to the Department and the Review Committee, on a need-to-know basis, as authorized by federal or state statute, rule or regulation, executive order, administrative code, local ordinance or resolution regarding the obtaining and dissemination of criminal history record information obtained under this article.
Such persons or organizations shall limit their use of criminal history record information solely to the authorized purpose for which it was obtained, and criminal history record information furnished shall not be disseminated to persons or organizations not authorized to receive the records for authorized purposes. Use of this record shall be limited solely to the authorized purpose for which it was given, and it shall not be disseminated to any unauthorized persons. Any person violating federal or state regulations governing access to criminal history record information may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.
The VRO shall make a recommendation based on the provisions of N.J.S.A. 15A:3A-1 et seq. as to whether the prospective or current volunteer coach is being recommended. The VRO will provide the Department with a letter of recommendation or nonrecommendation for each individual for whom the VRO completed a background check.
The Department shall promptly notify a prospective or current employee, program supervisor, or volunteer coach who receives a letter of nonrecommendation from the VRO. Individuals who receive a letter of nonrecommendation from the VRO will not be permitted to participate in any youth-serving program or organization. Such individuals may obtain a copy of their criminal history by contacting the VRO in writing. The individuals shall then have 20 days from the receipt of notification from the Department to petition the Review Committee for a review and to cite reasons substantiating the review.
Individuals who receive a letter of nonrecommendation from the VRO may be permitted to serve as a volunteer coach if they affirmatively demonstrate rehabilitation to the Review Committee. In determining whether a person has affirmatively demonstrated clear and convincing evidence of rehabilitation, the Review Committee may consider the following factors in conjunction with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 15A:3A-1 et seq.:
The nature and responsibility of the position which the convicted person would hold or has held, as the case may be;
The nature and seriousness of the offense;
The circumstances under which the offense occurred;
The date of the offense;
The age of the person when the offense was committed;
Whether the offense was an isolated or repeated incident;
Any social conditions which may have contributed to the offense; and
Any evidence of rehabilitation, including good conduct in prison or the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received, acquisition of additional academic or vocational schooling, successful participation in correctional work release programs or the recommendations of those who have had the person under their supervision.
The Review Committee shall have at least two members in attendance to consider any matters before it. There must be two affirmative votes for the Review Committee to take any action as outlined above. The Review Committee shall promptly advise the prospective or current volunteer coach whether he or she is qualified to serve as such.
Any volunteer coach who is disqualified by the Review Committee may appeal that decision to the governing body of the Borough of Leonia. Such appeal must be filed, in writing, with the Borough Clerk within 20 days of receiving the decision of the Review Committee.
When the Department receives a letter of nonrecommendation from the VRO, the Department may file that letter and keep the written notification on file for three years from the date it was issued.
No person or entity shall be held liable in any civil or criminal action brought by any party based on any written notification on file with the Department pursuant to the provisions of this article.