[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerville 6-2-14 as Ord. No. 2443-14-0519. Amendments noted where applicable.]
All such employees or volunteers shall file completed applications for the background check including fingerprints, prior to being approved by Borough Council via resolution. No such emergency service volunteer shall be permitted to serve the organization unless that person consents in writing to the background check. Until a background check is complete, volunteers shall not engage in training.
The background check will be performed by the Borough of Somerville Police Department.
Prospective candidates shall fully complete required forms and provide all necessary required information to the Somerville Police Department.
The Borough shall limit the exchange of information solely for the authorized purpose and to the authorized personnel for which it was obtained and shall not disseminate information to persons or organizations not authorized to receive the records for the authorized purposes.
The records shall be destroyed immediately after it has served its intended and authorized purposes.
Any person violating the Federal and State regulations governing access to criminal history record information may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.
A person shall be disqualified from serving as a volunteer if that person's criminal history background check reveals a record of conviction of any of the following crimes and offenses:
In New Jersey, any crime or disorderly persons offense in which the agency determines is a crime that impinges on character:
Involving danger to the person, meaning those crimes and disorderly persons offenses as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1, et seq., such as criminal homicide; N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, et seq., such as assault, reckless endangerment, threats, stalking; N.J.S.A 2C:13-1, et seq., such as kidnapping; N.J.S.A 2C:14-1, et seq., such as sexual assault; or, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, et seq., such as robbery;
Against the family, children or incompetents, meaning those criminal and disorderly persons offenses set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:24-1, et seq., such as endangering the welfare of a child;
Involving theft as set forth in Chapter 20 of Title 2C of the State of New Jersey Statutes;
In any other State or jurisdiction, conduct which, if committed in New Jersey, would constitute any of the crimes or disorderly persons offenses described in this section.
Each volunteer shall submit his or her application for a criminal history background check.
If the background check disqualifies the individual from volunteering, he or she shall be so notified by the Somerville Chief of Police, or the Chief's designee, and such information shall be kept confidential by the Police Department.
Successful background checks shall be reported to the Administrator, who shall maintain a list of all individuals who are qualified to serve as volunteers by virtue of their having successfully completed the background check. The Administrator shall share that list with organizations who would like to know if a prospective volunteer has passed the background check.
Access to criminal history record information shall be limited in accordance with law, including N.J.S.A. 15A:3A-1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 13:59-1.1 et seq.
Any person whose criminal history background check disqualifies that person from volunteering, may appeal his or her disqualification to the appropriate agency. For the Fire Department it is a municipal agency and for the First Aid and Rescue Squad it is the agencies appointed authority.
A person may challenge the accuracy of the criminal history check;
A person may claim to be rehabilitated;
No person may appeal a disqualification on the grounds of rehabilitation, if the person has been rejected because that person has been convicted, adjudicated, delinquent or acquitted by reason of insanity of aggravated sexual assault; aggravated criminal sexual contact; kidnapping pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection c. of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1; endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child pursuant to subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4; endangering the welfare of a child pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection b. on N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4; luring or enticing pursuant to section 1 of P.L. 1993, c.291 (N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6); criminal sexual contact pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3b. if the victim is a minor; kidnapping pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2, or false imprisonment pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:13-3 if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim; knowingly promoting prostitution of a child pursuant to paragraph (3) or paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1; or an attempt to commit any of these enumerated offenses.
A challenge to the accuracy of the report shall be filed with the Borough of Somerville Chief of Police, who shall review the challenge and make the appropriate response.
An appeal based on rehabilitation shall be made to an Appeals Committee, which shall consist of the Chief of Police, the Borough Administrator and the Chief of the Fire Department and the Chief of the designated Fire Company which the applicant made application and/or their designees. Any such appeal must be made within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice of disqualification.
An appeal based upon for volunteers to the First Aid and Rescue Squad rehabilitation shall be made to an Appeals Committee, which shall be defined by the First Aid and Rescue Squad. Any such appeal must be made within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice of disqualification.
An appeal based on rehabilitation shall be made to an Appeals Committee, which shall consist of the Chief of Police, the Borough Administrator and the Chief of the CERT and anyone else they so designate to assist in the determination process, and/or their designees. Any such appeal must be made within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice of disqualification.
In determining whether a person has affirmatively demonstrated rehabilitation, the Appeals Committee shall consider the following factors:
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 other 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 recommendation of those who have had the person under their supervision.
If the appropriate Appeals Committee determines that the disqualified person has been successfully rehabilitated, it shall enter that person's name on the list of qualified employees and volunteers maintained by the Administrator. For the purpose of the First Aid and Rescue Squad it shall remain with the designated individual of said agency.