Case Study: City of Colorado Springs

Case Study: City of Colorado Springs

Organization Background

The City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department serves residents and visitors through stewardship of distinctive cultural, natural and recreational resources; provision of exceptional facilities and programs; and effective leadership and collaboration for the vitality and economic health of the community. The Department offers recreation opportunities through youth and adult sports, community centers, therapeutic recreation, the Sertich ice center and golf courses. Its cultural services extend to the Pioneers Museum, Rock Ledge Ranch Living History Museum, the City Auditorium and park visitors centers.


For years, the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department depended on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and local police department to screen its volunteer candidates. As Colorado Spring’s population grew and its volunteer community topped 4,000 annually, the City decided to engage in a more thorough background check process. The broader city government’s Human Resources Department had recently decided to retain SterlingBackcheck for its employment screening and had also contracted with Sterling for volunteer background checks.


The City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department wanted a rigorous volunteer background check to match that of the city’s broader employment screening. Sterling Volunteers was able to provide deeper, more accurate screening at a price point that was manageable for the Department.


According to Tilah Larson, the Department’s Program Coordinator, the switch to Sterling Volunteers has produced more comprehensive and accurate screening results—with no ambiguity. This has made processing volunteer applications dramatically more straightforward for the Department and allowed personnel to outsource the communication of denials and disputes.

Key Highlights

Because Colorado Springs is a close-knit community, the process of denying applicants was often sensitive and uncomfortable for Department staff. The ability to outsource this communication to SterlingBackcheck and Sterling Volunteers allowed staff to remove personal stress and difficulty in dealing with adverse action.

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