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Guard ID tag controversy resolved

By Sharon Weatherall
Midland Free Press
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Local News - Guards at the Central North Correctional (CNCC) will no longer be wearing ID tags with personal information on them.

The new tag format contains a photo of the individual employee, an ID number, job title and the name of the facility.

According to facility administrator Doug Thomson, a recommendation made by the Health & Safety Committee and supported by himself to eliminate personal data from the tags, was approved at the Thursday February 6 meeting.

“Every one is happy and the issue is resolved,” Thomson told the Free Press Friday.

The issue arose when guards expressed concern that lost or misplaced ID tags could end up in the hands of prisoners. They feared not only for their personal and family safety, but that the information including date of birth and personal descriptions, could be used for fraud. Thomson said CNCC followed ministry regulation in that all employees must wear ID tags.

The difference was that information ministry guard tags contained no personal information, while CNCC tags did. The matter first went before CNCC Health and Safety Committee in November and was discussed at several meetings before being rectified last week.

Thomson said the process has already begun to change the tags. They are made at the facility.

Simcoe West MPP Garfield Dunlop was pleased to hear the matter has been resolved and the guards in Central North Correctional Centre will soon be wearing ID tags that are the same standard format of those worn by employees in government operated facilities.

“That is good news - I am happy to hear the recommendation was approved,” said Dunlop.

“I had concerns about it. It’s an information world we live in today with the Internet and other sources, but we don’t need to give anymore information than is necessary.”

© 2003 Midland Free Press

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