Keeping tabs on criminals

Justin Dickie
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Police partnership with online company aids with background checks

Keeping tabs on criminals

By Justin Dickie

Amherst Daily News

SPRINGHILL - If you want a job, you'd better stay out of trouble.

The Springhill Police Service recently teamed up with TrueCheck, a company that provides criminal record checks for employers and employees, and in May, was launched, making it much more convenient for individuals and companies to request and receive background checks.

Police Chief Gary Copeland feels with TrueCheck going online (which, to the best of his knowledge, is the first such company in Canada to do so), it will make it easier for employers to make sure their employees are well behaved.

"TrueCheck is the only company that we know of that has developed a system that's that secure so it's safe to do it on the Internet," Copeland said. "It's revolutionary for this company to have designed that."

Springhill also stands to make some extra money from this. While Copeland wouldn't divulge how much money his department makes from it, he said it's enough to have a significant impact on the town of Springhill.

"Big (police) agencies wouldn't bother getting into what we're doing because it really wouldn't mean much in a big millions-of-dollars budget. To us, and small municipalities who are always strapped for money, it's always significant, any money that we bring in," he said. "It's a big, big bonus for the town of Springhill."

Copeland said the additional workload brought on by this will not affect police duties in any way. Another dispatch employee has been hired at the station to help cover the extra work.

The police were approached by TrueCheck in mid-to-late 2006 about providing them with checks Canada-wide and after the police spent several months investigating the security of the company, they made a deal with them in January.

Copeland thinks with background checks being more easily available for employers, more companies will be asking for them, and in result, it could deter young people from committing crimes.

"We're hoping it's going to bring the crime rate down," he said. "If you have a criminal record, you may not get that good quality job you were trying for."

Organizations: Daily News, Springhill Police Service

Geographic location: SPRINGHILL, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Al
    January 18, 2010 - 11:16

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts when someone challenges the use of this information under the Rights of Privacy legislation of this country.

    Has anyone in Springhill figured out yet why no one else is doing background checks?

  • Bill
    January 18, 2010 - 10:32

    For clarity, the TrueCheck online system is designed for an individual to order their own criminal records clearance certificate only. It cannot be used to order a check on someone else.