I am wondering what you all thought about a few things.

1) Should Felons be allowed to be Firefighters?
2) Does your fire department hire felons?
3) If you are a firefighter and you are convicted of a felony, should you be fired?

The reason why I bring this up is because I got an email recently about Richmond (VA) Fire Department hiring.

Apparently, they have dropped the requirements for employment:

* Have no felony convictions for any offense within 60 months preceding the date of application;

I got the information here

I cannot speak for the department if this was an actual drop in requirement or if it has always been this way.

I thought that if you were a felon, you were always a felon. The only way to get a felony off your record is to have the Courts expunge it from your record.

What do you all think?

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Jarred now that you said that all of are state's test here in Indiana ask if you have ever been convicted of anything other than minor traffic offences. But they do have a a line that says please explain if you answer yes.
I don't know why they would ask unless they will withhold someones certs??? No certification you can't be a firefighter on our department.
Humm maybe I will ask about that if incase it ever comes up. Something I don't know. Are policy is ten years (verbal), State may say forever may have to change are policy to avoid confusion. Humm???
I worked in a factory with a man that was convicted and would admit to armed robbery. He made no excuse, Just said he was a dumbass kid. He was in his late 30s and a hell of a good guy. I would trust him with anything and would have had no doubts if my butt was in trouble he would be there.
So I know people can change. But I have also had family members that swore they have changed and been right back in trouble. So I go off someone's actions over time and not there word.
Being a felon for life really stinks. So many people think once you break the law you should be punished for life. 1 out of 3 people return to a life of crime but 2 out of 3 do not. I am willing to bet this ratio would be 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 if you could go back and get a non violent felony expunged after showing 10 years of good behavior.

I have a felony from 1993 and it took me over a year to find another permanent job when I was laid off in 2009. Too many employers pitch the job application without meeting the person that checks the box yes to a felony. My employer did not require me to fill out a job application and did not check my background until after I was chosen for the job. I was able to explain my ONE mistake and they were fine with it. I work in the computer field not firefighters, but I have friends that do this noble and honorable function.

After seeing how bad society treats someone once they are convicted you really have to wonder who is to blame for repeat offenders. If you believe someone does not deserve to be a fireman with a felony then you can say you have encouraged people to go back to crime. To not allow someone to be a fire fighter simply of a felony is just outright wrong. You should take into account what the person did, and how much time passed, not just bar the person for life.

If any of you believe in second chances consider joining my Facebook group on the subject.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=339594187363

www.2ndChanceNC.com
Bottom line is if a covicted felon can not be trusted in society then that convicted felon should still be locked up! I'm a Paramedic and most people don't know I have a felony on my record and I love hearing people tell me they would never be around a felon or they can spot a convicted felon from a mile away. I just laugh to myself and shake my head! I'm not the same person from over 20 years ago! Society needs to let it go!
Ooookay...say what you feel.Don't be a coward about it.So basically,you don't think that a felon should become a fire fighter.Well,straight up,I feel they should.People put so much on felons.They did the crimes - did their time and came home.Now they are looking to better themselves.Like you,I'm from Richmond too.And not all the time the people that are found guilty are-some are.But some may have been around the wrong crowd as a kid and got twisted in some mess.Not only that,but the difference between a felon and the NORMAL citizen is they got caught.There are some things that YOU do or use to do that would have made YOU a felon if caught.In most people cases-cheating on taxes....one example.After a bid plus 5 to 7 yrs of job hunting with people with the same attitude as yours,where will they turn....BACK TO THE STREETS.I have a family-wife,4 kids...and I'm a deacon at church and a felon...and if GOD can forgive me ....WHO ARE YOU!!!!!!!
Andre'a,

The difference between a felon and a "normal" person is the felon got caught? Yeah, you keep telling yourself that.
Apparently, god has lower standards.
As the story goes, God forgives those who are truly sorry. If Andre'a is truly sorry and reformed, I guess God would know that. The mere mortals who do the hiring at fire departments don't know that.
Eric, I feel your pain! I cannot agree with you more. In North Carolina, I would not even be given the privilege of being a paramedic because of my 19.50 year old non violent felony. I am in I.T. and find it getting harder and harder to retain my ability to work. December 2008 the CJIS Security Policy 4.5 was updated, and made it impossible for anyone with a felony to work near databases that contain law enforcement and some EMS data. Quite sad. Why does our society make it harder and harder for someone who made a mistake to survive? There should be time limits on punishing us after the fact. It is a double jeopardy. Convict 'em, and then apply new rules and laws 10, 20 years later to screw 'em further. The U.S. has the highest inmate population in the world. I bet some of that is because our society does not forgive and forget. Once a criminal, always a criminal. Some folks go back to a life of crime because society will not employ them. I see some people in this discussion are guilty of not looking past someone's mistake. They can look in the mirror when wondering why the U.S. has such a high inmate population. They are contributing to it.
How can you mention FAITH in a GODLY manner and judge someone in the same breath. You all hold people to a higher standard than GOD.But As the WORD says,don't put faith in no man.It's funny to me,because the same people that won't hire a felon,will turn around and hire a friend's child that doesn't show up,lacks on the job,etc.I've work for jobs that won't hire felons and never know I was,but they'll argue up and down I was one of the best workers they have ever had.I mean don't get me wrong,attitude and appearance should be a factor-along with how many yrs. ago and why they were convicted for the felony....but don't just count us out.Nobody's perfect(remember that).
True.And if you believe in God than you know HE will not place anyone in a position for no reason but for his purpose only .Not only that if HE wanted to put a felon in the FD no one can stop HIM....ANd about the difference between a normal citizen and a felon....you know like I do...there are some people who have been in the drug game ,auto theft, etc. That have gotten out before they were caught(some in which I know that work for the police department,fire and etc)so don't play that o i haven't did any thing act.May be you haven't,if not,my bad....but how many people you have seen drive drunk but have a clean driving record.Same thing.Please understand that I understand this is just your opinion....I just want people to understand that maybe we did mess up when you were 17,18 0r 19 years old.But when will WE be able to move on....dust ourselves off and get it right.Warehouses do the same thing...and I'm all for start somewhere(mcdonalds,bk,etc) but after that what...In my case they didn't even have any evidence on me...just because I was around them...oookay...we live in the same neighbor hood...and i was working two jobs...but was convinced by lawyer to plead guilty...young and dumb..i did it and now have a felony on my record because of who I knew and grow up with...I just want a chance to feed my family....
Andre'a:
I'm glad that things have worked out for you.
However; I resent that you would say that the reason we are not felons is that we didn't get caught. You obviously know the difference between a gun crime and a speeding ticket, right?
To generalize that we are all felons waiting to get caught is ludicrous.
And despite the fact that you have stayed out of prison, have been forgiven by God and are a deacon in your church, you could not be a member of our fire department. Our hiring policy is very clear; no felony convictions. It doesn't say, "no felony conviction in the last 7 years; it says, "no felony convictions" period.
It isn't a question of forgiveness.
It's a question of public trust.
Good luck with your journey.

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