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Should Sex Offenders Be Firefighters? What about Pardoned ones?

Can Sex Offenders be firefighters? Should sex offenders be firefighters? What about pardoned ones?

I am currently working on a story and one of the intriguing details is that a current firefighter WAS a convicted sex offender. The person was pardoned and is not a registered sex offender. The offense was bad (they all are). The offense happened 30 years ago prior to the current laws that protect us from these criminals. Should he be allowed to be a firefighter?

Here are my thoughts. Sex offenders should not be firefighters. I do not know of a National standard or regulation on this issue. However, if this man was pardoned and the infraction occurred prior to current regulations should he/she still be punished for a crime they was pardoned for? After all, they were pardoned and basically the crime is no longer part of their wrap sheet (hopefully there is nothing else). This is basically a loophole due to previously lackadaisical laws.

I just wonder if fire departments can legally disqualify someone from being a firefighter for something that might not show up on their background check. I am not sure it would in this case, but what if someone brought it to the FD’s attention.

The questions are:

  • Should sex offenders be allowed to be firefighters? What about EMT’s?
  • Should previously pardoned sex offenders be allowed to be firefighters?
  • What about EMT’s?
  • Does your department look for this information in their background checks?

Here are some articles I found on the topic of sex offender/firefighters:

NSOPR – National Sex Offender Public Registry

FBI Sex Offender Registry

You might remember a while back that I posted a question on Firefighter Nation about Felons being firefighters. That discussion continues to spark interest from time to time and the conversation is rehashed. My answer remains to be NO. Several people said that it depended on the crime. My reply….Name a GOOD Felony! I didn’t think so. Felonies are felonies for a reason. They are crimes.

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