Senator Girgenti’s Criminal Background Check Bill Receives Final Legislative Approva

Senator John A. Girgenti (D-Passaic and Bergen)

TRENTON – A bill to required paid firefighters working in a fire district to undergo a criminal history background check, sponsored by Senator John Girgenti, was approved 78-0 yesterday by the General Assembly.

“Under current law, an applicant for a paid firefighter position in a county or municipality must submit to a criminal history background check,” said Girgenti, D-Passaic and Bergen. “My bill would extend that requirement to firefighters who are employed in fire districts.”

The 2003 background check law brought various State criminal history background check statutes in line with conditions the Federal Bureau of Investigation had imposed for use of its criminal history information. New Jersey conducts background checks by checking applicants’ names and fingerprints against those on file with the FBI and the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police.

“This bill corrects an oversight in the 2003 law that set up a statutory framework for civil background checks,” said Girgenti, who is chairman of the Senate Law, Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

The bill, S-1851, was approved 36-2 in the Senate in December. It now goes to Gov. Jon S. Corzine for his consideration.