Pre-Employment Background Investigations for Public Safety Professionals: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Pre-Employment Background Investigations for Public Safety Professionals

1st Edition

By Frank A. Colaprete

CRC Press

623 pages | 19 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781439893852
pub: 2012-05-10
SAVE ~$24.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429252266
pub: 2012-05-10
from $60.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


***Author Radio Interview

Join Dr. Frank A. Colaprete for an upcoming interview on the Privacy Piracy show on KUCI 88.9FM. Click here on September 2nd, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. PST to listen in.

Pre-employment investigations have been the subject of intense review and debate since 9/11 made the vetting of applicants a critical function of every organization. Nowhere has the scrutiny been more intense than in the public safety sector. Pre-Employment Background Investigations for Public Safety Professionals provides readers with the knowledge, investigative techniques, applicable laws, decision-making models, and tools to successfully implement and manage the process of pre-employment investigation.

The book focuses on six key topics:

  • Practical implications of pre-employment investigation
  • The pre-employment screening process
  • Legal issues in the hiring process
  • Medical and psychological standards of pre-employment screening
  • Informational sources and the final investigative package
  • The past predicting the future of pre-employment investigations

Each chapter begins with learning objectives and key terms and concepts. Discussion questions and exercises appear at the end of each chapter to test readers’ assimilation of the material. A comprehensive review of all the issues faced in the investigation and hiring process, this volume assists all stakeholders in the hiring arena by highlighting the critical steps involved in vetting a prospective employee. While no screening process can be completely failsafe, this volume enables decision makers to move confidently through the hiring process, quickly weeding out the most likely problematic hires so that the ideal employee can be selected.


"While few books deserve five stars, this excellent work deserves at least that. … Nothing is overlooked or misplaced. No reader could want more from an author or security professional. … As a frequent book critic for this magazine for more than 15 years, I cannot recall reading or reviewing a more useful or professionally written book than this. Without reservations (a first for this reviewer), I recommend this fine book for anyone involved with pre-employment screening in either the public or private sector."

—Eugene F. Ferraro, CPP, PCI, CFE, SPHR, in Security Management

Table of Contents

Practical Implications of Pre-employment Investigations

Objectives of the Pre-employment Investigation

Why Do We Do a Background Investigation?

The Most Important Investigation

The Best Predictor of Behavior

Studying Applicant Attrition Rates

Relationship between Recruiting and Selection

Social and Generational Influences of Law Enforcement Organizations

Background Investigations as a Risk Management Tool

Securing the Future of the Organization

Pre-employment Screening Process

Criteria for Selection and Hiring Standards

Steps in the Process

Philosophy, Mission, and Purpose of the Investigation

Screening Tools as a System

Confidentiality in the Process

Alternative Methods to In-House Screening

Team Approach to Pre-employment Screening

Organizational and Process Integrity

There Is No Substitute for Training

Process Charting and Reporting

Value of Policy and Procedure


Specific Technology and Tools

Time Commitment and Management

Developing the Budget

Final Stages of the Investigation

Legal Issues in the Hiring Process

Federal Laws of Hiring

State Laws of Hiring

Negligence Claims in the Hiring Process

Liability in Completing the Background Investigation

Medical and Psychological Standards

Americans with Disabilities Act of

Medical Standards and Evaluations

Drug and Alcohol Use

Psychological Standards and Evaluations

Medical and Psychological Records Security and Retention

Informational Sources and the Final Investigative Package

Don’t Just Report; Investigate!

Successful Written Communication

Supporting Documentation Requirements

Professional Evaluations

Content, Format, and Structure of the Final Investigative Package

Criminal Liability History

Civil Liability History

Driving History

Credit History and Reports

Educational and Training History

Military Service

Employment History

Personal and Professional References

Negligent Referral and Defamation Claims

Residence and the Neighborhood Canvas

Electronic Sources: Prospering in the Information Age

Processes of Dealing with the Candidate

Final Reviews and Recommendations

Postinvestigation Changes to the Final Investigative Package

Releasing Information to Other Employers

Defending the Final Decision

The Past Predicting the Future of Pre-employment Investigations

What Does the Future Hold in Store?

Appendix A: Santa Barbara Application

Appendix B: Alaska Department of Corrections

Appendix C: Seattle Police Officer Qualifications

Appendix D: Sample Policy

Appendix E: Sample Conditional Offers of Employment

Appendix F: Sample Personal History Statement (IPD)

Appendix G: Sample Application Materials (APD)

Appendix H: Sample Information Release and Liability Waivers




About the Author

Dr. Frank A. Colaprete, AAS, BS, MS, EdD, CLS, is an associate professor of criminal justice administration at Keuka College, Keuka Park, New York. He is also an adjunct faculty member of Norwich University, Nova Southeastern University, New England College, and the Justice and Training Research Institute at Roger Williams University. Dr. Colaprete has served for 20 years in law enforcement in such roles as patrol officer, evidence technician, sergeant, detective sergeant, and lieutenant. He currently teaches, consults, and conducts independent criminal justice research in myriad topics as the owner and lead consultant of Justice Systems Solutions, LLC. Dr. Colaprete’s work has garnered him the finalist award from the IACP/Motorola Corporation Webber Seavey Award process. In 2009, the administration of the Norwich University School of Graduate Studies conferred upon him the Distinguished Faculty of the Year Award. He holds the title of certified litigation specialist (CLS) through the Americans for Effective Law Enforcement (AELE) and is a master instructor and instructor evaluator certified by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Office of Public Safety.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Human Resources & Personnel Management
COMPUTERS / Security / General
LAW / Forensic Science
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology