Should Amusement Parks Conduct Employee Background Checks?
By Russ Warner, VP Marketing –
One of the concerns we have today is regarding corruption and its negative effects. Even more alarming is the trend of corrupt individuals and illicit criminal activities that affect children. Children should be protected from such things, and yet we do sometimes don’t take seemingly simple precautions to protect them.
Amusement Parks and Carnivals
Carnivals, fairs and amusement parks attract children and families. There are all kinds of fun things to do, and most parents that take their kids to such places will permit them to go on rides or wander around on their own, without parental supervision.
This mindset seems based upon the premise that amusement park or carnival workers are also concerned about their patrons and will partially supervise and protect children. But the truth is, such workers are not always trustworthy.
In the states of Washington and Oregon, and at the federal government level, fairs are not required by law to check an employee’s criminal background. Without mandatory background checks, organizations won’t bother with the time, effort and cost to carry them out. Without regulations, background checks of employees in close proximity to children will remain optional.
Unfortunate too is the ease with which criminals can hide information related to their background due to the many reporting loopholes inherent in the legal system. Is there a better way to get such vital information directly from the criminal before considering them for employment?
Butler Amusements and Dale Roy Fager
In the Northwest states, Butler Amusements operates carnivals, fairs, and festivals. This organization is not required to conduct background checks. As a result, Butler has hired convicted sex offenders many times.
Last year, Dale Roy Fager, employee of Butler, was a known sex offender. He was arrested for online child pornography at the time of his employment. Butler had run a background check on Fager, which he passed due to him falsifying information to hide his crimes. Ironically, Fager had an outstanding warrant in another state for forgery.
A Better Background Check
Butler Amusements did not do a careful inspection or keep a close eye on Fager as one of their employees, and Fager was not the only one affected. The children and adults he worked with were put in real danger because of his tendency toward criminal behavior. For this reason, a lack of regulations requiring background checks and ineffective methods for gathering data should alarm us — particularly when children are in jeopardy.
EyeDetect™ provides a painless and non-intrusive test to determine deception. A candidate can undergo a simple examination where he reads and answers true or false statements shown on a computer monitor for 30-40 minutes. During that time, an optical scanner observes and records eye and reading behaviors and can then determine within an 85% level of accuracy if the person is deceptive.
Such tools could make conducting background checks affordable and accurate, especially in jobs where children are in close proximity or being cared for by other adults.