CARTERET— Employees and volunteers of all youth organizations who receive public subsidies or use borough fields will have to undergo mandatory criminal background checks, mandated by a recently-passed ordinance.
The ordinance, which was passed unanimously on Sept. 9, will provide a new precautionary measure to safeguard Carteret’s children. The background checks will be performed by the N.J. State Police. Current volunteers and employees must undergo a background check within one year, and all new volunteers and employees must have background checks prior to their approval.
“Our children are some of the most vulnerable of our community citizens,” Mayor Daniel Reiman said, “particularly when in public areas where they may not be under the direct supervision of their parents. This new ordinance will help safeguard our children from potential danger when involved in organized sports and athletic programs that utilize our public facilities. Although this is primarily a precaution, the Council and I believe in taking every preventative measure within our means when it comes to protecting our younger residents.”
“We have always felt strongly about the safety of our children, particularly when they are less likely to be under the supervision of their parents,” Councilman Randy Krum added. “I’m sure our local parents will feel more comfortable having their children participate in our many organized sports program knowing we have safeguards such as this in place.”
State law allows nonprofit organizations that serve youths to request criminal history and background checks on volunteers or employees. Participating organizations register with the N.J. State Police’s State Bureau of Identification, which has established the Volunteer Review Operation (VRO) specifically to perform this service.