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The Bobcat Depot, where students can buy clickers, is in the bottom of Baker Center. (FILE)

Bobcat Depot takes over background checks from Ohio University Police Department

The change will free OUPD of the duty, provide students with more payment options and host the service in a more central location.

Students seeking background checks this year won’t have to go too far, as the Bobcat Depot in Baker Center has taken over the service from the Ohio University Police Department.

Members of OHIO Information Technology and OUPD both played a part in the decision making process, OUPD Lt. Tim Ryan said, adding that the groups agreed that the switch would benefit both students and OUPD.

“Previously, communication officers at OUPD provided the fingerprinting services as a secondary duty,” Ryan said in an email. “The change will relieve them of this obligation, allowing them to focus on their primary job of answering emergency and non-emergency calls for police service on campus.”

According to OIT Communications Manager Sean O’Malley, hosting the service in Bobcat Depot gives students payment flexibility and convenience. He added that the change did not cost the university any money.

“The main benefits are the Bobcat Depot's central location and the ability to pay with either cash or credit card,” O’Malley said in an email.

Bobcat Depot accepts payment in the form of cash, major credit cards, Bobcat Cash or money orders, though it does not accept personal checks.

David Meeks, assistant customer resource manager at Bobcat Depot, said training for the background checks only took a day, although he did have to travel to Dublin.

He said employees at Bobcat Depot don’t actually perform the checks — they enter the fingerprints and information and send it to government agencies through WebCheck, an online program.

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“I don’t actually look at anything,” Meeks said. “I’m just a mediator.”

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigations perform the background checks after receiving the fingerprints from Bobcat Depot, Meeks said.

Prices range from $6 for fingerprint cards only to $58 for background checks at both the state and national level, according to Bobcat Depot’s page on the OU website. Because only full-time staff members may perform the checks, times are limited to Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Students might require background checks for positions including “student teachers, nursing candidates, home health care providers and nursing home workers,” O’Malley said.

Meeks said background checks are a common service at Bobcat Depot.

“It’s not just students,” he said. “There’s a couple different companies that direct people here.”

bg272614@ohio.edu

@baileygallion

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