Carteret, NJ – Mayor Dan Reiman and Councilman Randy Krum have announced today the adoption of a new town ordinance requiring all youth organizations who receive public subsidies or use Borough fields to have mandatory criminal background checks performed for their employees and volunteers.
The ordinance (# 08-33, Amending Chapter 182 Entitled Parks and Creating a New Article, Entitled Background Checks for Organizations Using Public Fields Within the Borough of Carteret) will provide a new precautionary measure to safeguard Carteret’s children. As it specifies, any volunteers or employees that are involved with formal sports organizations or youth groups that utilize the town’s public fields, are to be subjected to a mandatory criminal background check by the N.J. State Police. Such investigations must occur for all current volunteers and employees within one year, and for all new volunteers and employees prior to their approval.
According to a N.J. statute (Public Law 1999m Chapter 432 (C. 15A:3A-1)), nonprofit organizations that serve youths are permitted to request criminal history and background checks on those who serve with them as volunteers or employees. Participating organizations register with the N.J. State Police’s State Bureau of Identification, who have established the Volunteer Review Operation (VRO) specifically to perform this service. These organizations will be exempt from federal income tax, and offer recreational, cultural charitable, or social activities among their community-oriented programs to be serviced by the V.R.O.. The Borough ordinance makes the law mandatory for any group that receives Borough public subsidies, or that utilizes Borough fields for organized play.
“Our children are some of the most vulnerable of our community citizens,” Mayor 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.”
The ordinance, entitled “Background Checks for Organizations Using Public Fields Within the Borough of Carteret,” was passed unanimously by the Council on September 9th.
“It was not surprising to see this ordinance passed unanimously,” Councilman Randy Krum added. “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. I’m sure our local parents will feel more comfortable having their children participate in our many organized sports programs knowing we have safeguards such as this in place.”