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PA: Bill would ban sex offenders from firefighter rosters

[ 4/19/18]

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation to ban convicted sex offenders from serving as firefighters.

Under House Bill 2220, professional and volunteer firefighters would have to submit to a background check or sign a statement saying they’ve never been convicted of a sexual offense.

Pennsylvania already prohibits convicted arsonists from serving as firefighters, but whether a convicted sex offender may serve is up to each individual community to decide.

Republican Rep. Kathy Rapp introduced the proposal after a fire chief in her Crawford County district was re-elected despite is 2001 conviction for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old. He has since resigned.

Watch the video


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this is fear mongering at its finest…. so what this lawmaker is essentially saying is, that she would rather have her house burn down, or loose a loved one in an emergency situation, all because there might be a slim possibility that the S.O. may have ulterior motives, and thoughts about them, while in their burning house, putting THEIR lives at risk, to save your sorry ass, or loved one? or maybe providing CPR to a loved one, who just collapsed from a heart attack, because the S.O. might have to touch them to do it? you know what this… Read more »

Sounds like a good law to me I’m an SO and I wouldn’t want an SO touching my daughter You’re right it is Karma for us its called consequences for our actions They have every right to do background checks on people that deal with the public. Somehow because of the SO reg fight people on here are starting to think they should be immune to any consequences at all for what they did. I don’t see you complaining that a hospital emergency room wouldn’t hire you why is it any different for a fire dept?

Why isn’t a sentence not consequence enough for conviction of a criminal act?

Some occupational restrictions are reasonable for some offenders. Some people are incorrigible, and can not or will not be rehabilitated. That’s not true for everyone, though. Most never commit another offense. So the kind of blanket restrictions, like the one being discussed here, that treat everyone in a broad offense category the same way, without regard for individual differences or risk factors, is unjustified and is fundamentally unfair.

You are in the largest statistical percentage of possible people who would do harm to their own family member because you are in a position of trust. Maybe you and your daughter ought to be separated with no contact until she is 18 yrs old to make her own decisions regardless if you have paid your debt to society.

@Debo..I have no victim nor victimized anybody in my life yet here I am..

I will question the claim that you say you are a Registrant. I call BS on this because not ONE of us here would fall for a narrative such as this. A person subjected to the registry knows EXACTLY how the registry works (or doesn’t) and we also know PRECISELY that this wouldn’t stop someone from offending. Why would a person who was able to pick up the pieces of their lives and VOLUNTEER to put their lives at risk… cop a feel? Surely there are better ways than that. Lastly, you have it backwards; a person on the registry… Read more »


Are you serious? These people go to homes to pull people out of danger and you are saying that you’re afraid one of these firemen might molest your child?
This is the problem in our society….I guess if you have committed a sex crime, you can never work anywhere. How you do your job has nothing to do with what crime you committed and paid for in the past.

Here is my point of view. I am personally happy to see S.O.’s here to voice their opinions, this is a subject that Congress needs to really deliberate. First time offenders such as myself don’t catch breaks because society groups us minor-risk offenders all into one category and “community”, sure we are acknowledged (not really in acknowledged positive way either), but think of the communities out there that think they are normal and fit into society. Congress is a high school joke. People are afraid of what’s different. IN my line of work, I deal with people everyday that have… Read more »

Great use of public resources. I wonder if these criminal legislators think there could ever be too many laws or that government could be too big. Big government ought to be constrained to a certain size. It should be dictated that big government may only control N things and no more. They would have to pick the most important and useful things to control. Stupidity like this would have to be skipped. But why would anyone who is listed on a SEX Offender Registry (SORs) ever want to do anything that might help someone who supports the SORs (i.e. a… Read more »

“‘There are certain things that our society does not believe is appropriate. Being a firefighter who can go into a home is absolutely one of them,’ Rapp said.”

What? What does that jargon even mean?

That you think firefighters going into homes is inappropriate? That firefighters use their position to enter unsuspecting residences? That you think firefighters should have full legal clearance to risk their lives by entering a home on fire?

The idiocy is almost too much to bear.

Why stop at firefighting occupations? Why not ban all registrants from any job that involves any human contact? Probably should ask Rapp to do just that. Then ask Rapp to ban arsonist from any purchase that can create a spark, which includes the use of a microwave oven, lights, or anything with electricity. Oh then ask Rapp to ban anyone convicted of a DUI from every driving any vehicle, including a non-motorized bike as well as anything with alcohol in it such as legal, over the counter cold medicine. If she wants to be 100% correct, then make sure she… Read more »

This fits right into Judge Matsch’s decision narrative it appears which he is being called out on in accordance with society’s punishment (aka collateral damage and nothing the state wants to acknowledge) of the RC.

So much for your peers having a say in their VOLUNTEER department matters. Even though all FD infrastructure and vehicles are publicly funded entities (volunteers are not paid), this law should be possibly challenged (if passed and someone wanted to). It calls out FFs specifically and not all publicly funded personnel positions in positions of trust (including politicians). Hiring practices be damned, it needs to be codified in law! Can someone from PA call the committee, the reps, the governor(!) to suggest politicians be included on the publicly funded personnel position exclusion list please on a matter of principle?! The… Read more »

@ Debo really? so apparently your lucky enough to live in a community, or city that has MORE first responders than they know what to do with? well where I live, everything is volunteer, were many departments are struggling to stay afloat financially, or struggle to find new, younger people, to replace ones that for whatever reason, age, ability, or other circumstances keeps them from doing it. obviously being an SO bars me from certain positions, or jobs, and that IS something I ACCEPT as a consequence of my actions. BUT this is more about lumping all of us into… Read more »

Here is a vid that will sum it all up to why we shouldn’t be pushing this issue.

If try to ban us from working them everyone is going to have something to fear who’s not an SO, talk about having nothing to loose, a bunch of SO’s unable to pay for food, cloths, home, bills, that’s a very bad idea

PA is not the only state with RCs serving their communities after they have paid their debt (OK too as seen here):

A city under fire: embezzlement and a firefighter on the sex offender registry discovered in Coyle

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