N.S. musician pens song about glitch with criminal record check
Published Wednesday, February 10, 2016 7:18PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 10, 2016 7:19PM AST
A father who was mistaken for someone with a criminal past has written a song about his frustrations, with hopes of starting a serious conversation.
Dave Carroll says he didn’t mind getting a criminal record check to volunteer at his son's school, but the ordeal has turned sour.
“It seems I share a birthday with some criminal, despicable guy,” said Carroll.
Carroll was flagged during a vulnerable sector search required for anyone volunteering with children, seemingly because he shares a birth date with a sex offender.
He had to go to the police station to get fingerprinted. He was okay with that, but another problem came up.
“He said, 'You don't have any fingerprints,' and I said, 'What do you mean I don't have any fingerprints?'” said Carroll.
The solution? Moisturizing his hands.
“Told me I had to go home and sleep for two nights, coat my hands in moisturizing cream and sleep for two nights to pop my fingerprints,” said Carroll.
Carroll also happens to be a well-known musician, so he wrote a song about his struggles. The song and corresponding video are humourous, but Carroll says he hopes they start a bigger discussion.
“Protecting our kids is obviously paramount, but there's got to be a balance between safety and encouraging parents to volunteer,” said Carroll.
Halifax Regional Police say they process nearly 1,000 criminal record checks for volunteers every month. They only fingerprint if the individual is flagged for some reason, and they say the digital scanning works most of the time, but one out of 40 people is asked to moisturize their hands.
“I thought he was joking,” said Carroll. “I thought it might have been Candid Camera or something.”
“We certainly wouldn't want anyone to be in a position of trust or authority over a child who's been involved with sex offences, or who's received a pardon for a sex offence,” said Jim Butler of Halifax Regional Police. “So that second check is a failsafe against the first check to make sure that this person hasn't changed their name for example.”
The digital scanning has been in place for volunteers for roughly a year. Police say doing things the old-fashioned way is still a possibility, but Carroll says he wasn't offered that option.
For now, he still can't volunteer – so he'll sing about it instead.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell.