Background checks at carnivals: a second look

Moline won't conduct city background checks, so how do workers get screened?

Published 05/29 2015 11:02PM

Updated 05/29 2015 11:02PM

Moline is doing away with city conducted background checks for carnival workers who come to the area.

One of the first carnivals of the year is at South Park Mall this weekend. But with a recent move by the Moline City Council parents are taking a second look at background checks for workers.

"You never know in the society anymore where your children are or if they are safe anywhere so I would never let my child come here by herself, that's why I always come here with her," said Diane Lawver, parent.
The city of Moline voted last week to do away with carnival employee background checks run by the city.
Many felt it was redundant after the state of Illinois passed a law that carnival companies have to run backgrounds themselves.
"The state of Illinois. I want to say four years ago also passed a new law. A carnival law. That all carnival people have to be background checked as well, in order to get your license to operate. And that was all done last week on us in southern Illinois," said Patt Repp, North American Midway Entertainment.
But some parents don't agree with Moline's decision.
"I would feel safer if they did do the background checks," said Lawver.
"I assume they do go by a background check with the company that they work for, but I know nothing of the company," said Marci Hotchkiss, parent.
The state of Iowa is slightly different. They require the carnival to turn in a list of all employees and then the department of criminal investigations handles the background checks.
"Every state that we go to you get an initial inspection// it's not just one time and then they go away. they come out and do a very good job at checking our documents and paperwork," said Repp.

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