Background Checks

In one of the most shocking incidents of what can happen when employers fail to do even the rudimentary background check, an armed convicted felon was recently allowed in the same elevator with the President.   The President of the United States was recently on that elevator at, of all places, the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta with an armed convicted felon employed by the Center as a security officer!

According to Fox News, “the man involved in the elevator incident was working as a security officer at the CDC. Secret Service agents grew suspicious of him when he refused to stop taking a video of the President on his phone and pulled the man aside for questioning. A supervisor fired the contractor on the spot, and the man turned over his gun. This surprised the agents, who had not realized the man was armed.  The Secret Service then ran a criminal check on the man and discovered his criminal history.”

It is almost impossible to imagine that an agency like the CDC or, for that matter, the Secret Service wouldn’t have insisted that background checks be done on all contract security officers working at that facility well before the President arrived!  The CDC should have insisted that background checks be done before any potential security officers were assigned to their facility!  It’s even more impossible to believe that the contractor providing security personnel to the CDC wouldn’t have done very thorough background checks on any person applying for a job like that of an armed security officer in the first place!

This particularly individual, who had three felony convictions for assault and battery, not only was within an arms length of the President of the United States, but also  was carrying a loaded weapon!

Given the fact that many employers hire security companies to provide security officers for their offices, one can only wonder what sort of background checks are being done on their employees before they are hired.  It’s rather disconcerting to speculate on how many armed and uniformed officers have previous criminal histories that no one has bothered to check.

The incident involving the President could have turned out tragically – that’s why it’s so important to do a thorough background check on every new employee.  This latest incident simply proves the point.