The Valparaiso, Indiana, Parks Department Board recently voted to extend employee background checks
to a national database, the Post-Tribune reports. The new initiative will currently only apply to new hires, but will involves a full national search rather than the limited state checks previously performed. A contracted company will now check new workers' Social Security numbers, criminal history
and last seven addresses while also cross-referencing them against the sex offender registry. "We've been doing this for sensitive positions," parks and recreation director Jon Siebert told the news source. "We've been wanting to get it to this point." Prior to the change, the department had only conducted checks on those applying for positions where they'd be working with children. Checks will now be carried out on all full-time employees as well seasonal and concession stand workers. The checks will take three days to process and cost $17. The system will likely cost the department between $5,000 and $7,000 per year to maintain. Recently hired youth program director Phil Blasko was the first recipient of the extended checks, beating out 77 other applicants for the position, the Northwest Indiana Times reports.