1st Edition

Pre-Employment Background Investigations for Public Safety Professionals

By Frank A. Colaprete Copyright 2012
    623 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    ***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.

    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


    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.

    "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