ARCHIVED - Minister Toews: New Technology to Increase Speed and Reliability of Vulnerable Sector Police Checks

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OTTAWA, February 15, 2011 — Children's coaches, volunteers, child care workers, and others who give their time to work with vulnerable individuals will soon have access to a faster, more accurate and more efficient police checks today announced the Honourable Vic Toews, Canada's Minister of Public Safety, and Mr. Daniel Petit, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police-developed technology, which is already in use in over 20 police jurisdictions across Canada, will significantly reduce the time required to screen Canadians for work in the vulnerable sectors, while delivering a more reliable assessment of whether the individual should be allowed to work with vulnerable individuals such as children.

"In order to help safeguard the safety and security of families and communities, our government encourages organizations that work with children and the elderly to ensure potential employees undergo a vulnerable sector check," said Minister Toews. "Today I am pleased to highlight the RCMP's efforts to develop and implement this technology solution which, with the cooperation of police forces in Canada, will help reduce these important verification wait times from months to at the most a few weeks."

With the new technology, applicants can submit their fingerprint for verification and in a matter of minutes, receive their assessment, as opposed to the weeks or even months of waiting that were required under the previous system. Fingerprints related to Vulnerable Sector Verification are destroyed after the research process is completed.

"While the most recent changes made the process for vulnerable sector verifications longer, this change also ensured organizations are made aware of an individual's background prior to entrusting them in a position of trust or authority," emphasized Parliamentary Secretary Petit. "Now this new technology will further strengthen the reliability of these checks as it also ensures that offenders can no longer hide their criminal past simply by changing their name."

"This improvement to the vulnerable sector verification procedure will go a long way to reduce the wait times for these important checks and encourage everyone to work with police to ensure that the most vulnerable of our society enjoy the safety and protection they deserve," said Ottawa Police Chief Vern White.

"In October 2010, the RCMP made improvements to its Real Time Identification System (RTID) to allow police services across the country to electronically submit fingerprints for verification via Livescan devices, and to receive responses electronically," said RCMP Commissioner William J.S. Elliott. "Where the technology is fully implemented fingerprint verification can be completed in as little as five minutes if there is no criminal record or pardoned sexual offence on file."

"Hockey Canada puts the safety of children at the forefront," said Hockey Canada senior manager of membership and insurance Todd Jackson. "Criminal records checks and vulnerable persons checks are an important part of the overall screening process and changes such as these will continue to make the process easier for our great volunteers."

The Government of Canada recommends that vulnerable sector verifications be completed for persons applying for positions such as social work, day-care and coaching. Additional information on Vulnerable Sector Verifications is available on the RCMP Web site:


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