Smith County Adopts Tighter Hiring Policies

New changes are here in the hiring policy for Smith County employees.

Under the new policy adopted Monday by Smith County Commissioners this morning, any new applicant will be required to allow the county to do a criminal history background check on them.

The department heads will then be allowed to consider this information in the hiring process from up to 20 years in the past - but greater weight will be placed on the last 7 years.

Judge Joel Baker of Smith County today said, "It is important to make sure we are considering the right information when we are hiring a position for a certain job. Obviously, for instance, if someone has been convicted of a theft we won't want them in a position handling money, or county property, that sort of thing. It is better to have good information when you are making that hiring decision."

Judge Baker said this does not mean the checks will be done on every applicant, because they can cost up to 30 dollars, but that it will be done for those that make the cut.

Danielle Capper, reporting.