Program offers nationwide fingerprinting

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is offering fingerprint checks for volunteers in nonprofit organizations that work with children ages 16 and under.

"This process is the only accurate and comprehensive means available to conduct a proper background check of an adult who works with children," said Undersheriff Paul Howell.

The program, administered by the Nevada Department of Public Safety, enables the sheriff's office to conduct a more thorough investigation of volunteers.

"Qualifying entities can have nationwide fingerprint checks conducted on those volunteers working with youth under the age of 16," Howell said.

To qualify, any group with 501(c)3 nonprofit status can apply for an account through the Nevada repository for criminal histories.

"Any group that works with children, we can check out the people they have," Howell said. "We want to stress that this is the only way you are going to conduct accurate, thorough checks.

"Unfortunately, there are people out there who seek out groups like Little League. It's a small community and a lot of it is trust. If you show up to volunteer, you'll get a job. A lot of time, the organizers don't know they're letting the wolf into the hen house."

Once a group has an identification number, the sheriff's office will fingerprint the volunteers and submit the information to the state repository.

Once approved, an agency or group will be provided with an identification number that will be required when reporting for fingerprints, Howell said.

The cost for a civil applicant submission is $51.25, plus a $20 processing fee.

Fingerprint cards will be provided by the sheriff's office.

Registered organizations will not be charged a fee for individual fingerprints.

"It's a public safety issue. If an organization wants the sheriff's office to assist with figure prints, we're going to mandate that they go through the state program. We want to insure the safety of our children," he said.

The sheriff's office will also fingerprint agencies that don't quality for the Child Trust Account.

For information, contact Howell at 782-9900 or sheriff's records supervisor Karis Drake, 782-9933.


To participate in a nationwide fingerprint check for volunteers who work with children ages 16 and under, call Douglas County Undersheriff Paul Howell, 782-9900 or sheriff's records supervisor Karis Drake, 782-9933.


Nevada Department of Public Safety Child Trust Account


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