New application requirements for Parks and Rec coaches

Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

September 12, 2013

The incident relating to a sex predator who served as a former Elkin youth volunteer coach and misled officials on his true identity has led to proactive screening approaches and policy changes by the Elkin Parks and Recreation Department.

“In response to events and to hopefully prevent further incidents, the Elkin Parks and Recreation Department has reviewed the information we collect on volunteer coaches and researched other recreation department volunteer policies,” said Elkin Parks Director Adam McComb. “While we do obtain industry standard information and also use the Elkin Police Department to perform background checks, we would recommend (additional) information be added to the volunteer coach application to assist us in further assessing volunteer coaches.”

The additional information to be collected will be:

· North Carolina Driver’s License Number.

· Social Security Number.

· Perform a nationwide background check on all volunteer head coaches.

· Ability to perform random fingerprint checks through Elkin Police Department at no charge.

According to McComb, background checks cost approximately $200 annually and will be absorbed within the current budget.

“The cost for this background check is relatively cheap and we have a lot of repeat coaches in various sports. This should cover for the year with all sports,” said McComb.

Fingerprinting of volunteer coaches will be randomly selected and checks will run though the Elkin Police Department at no cost to the volunteer coach.

Town officials believe the fingerprinting option will serve as a deterrent for someone who might be using a stolen identity and keep them from coaching organized sports for the town.

The changes to the application process surfaced after volunteer coach Nigel Allen Garcia, 34, of Elkin was arrested by Wilkes County deputies. A warrant for Garcia’s arrest said he was charged with failure to register as a sex offender, a weapons violation and failure to appear.

The Garcia charges come from San Jose, Calif. A poster from San Jose police said Garcia has previously sexually assaulted children. He was convicted of sodomy with a child under 14 with force and lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 with force, San Jose police said.

Garcia was extradited to California to face the charges only to make bail and return to Elkin.

Upon Garcia’s return and on July 26, the Elkin Police Department lodged additional charges on Garcia.

“Nigel Garcia was arrested and charged with sex offender on child premises, identity theft, and obtaining property by false pretense,” said Lt.Mendy Peles of the Elkin Police Department. ”

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or email at agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.