New Law Signed by Coumo

New Law Signed by Coumo

Posted in the Fort Drum Forum

New Fire Fighter Law

United States

#1 Aug 8, 2014
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation that strengthens the vetting process for volunteer firefighter organizations by requiring applicants to submit to a background check for any prior sex offense convictions.

“Firefighters are often in a position where they serve and protect vulnerable members of their communities – which is why it is imperative that our volunteer firefighter organizations are staffed with highly qualified and dedicated individuals,” Governor Cuomo said.“By allowing these groups to screen for sexual offenders and remove any individuals who have been convicted of sexual offenses, we are supporting some of our most important local volunteer groups and taking a strong step toward having safer communities across the state.”

Volunteer firefighters frequently work in the presence of vulnerable individuals, including children. This bill would require prospective volunteer firefighters to authorize a background check for sex offense convictions if the individual wishes to proceed with his or her application. The bill would also allow individual fire companies to determine if the prospective volunteer is eligible to become a volunteer member of such fire company if that person has been convicted of a registerable sex offense is found.

This law passed both houses of the legislature as S1885C and A2318D, respectively.

Senator John J. Bonacic said,“Volunteer fire department personnel should have all the means necessary to prevent convicted sex offenders from becoming volunteers, and remove any who presently serve. Oftentimes, volunteer firefighters are in situations where children and families are present, whether in the actions of a fire or medical emergency, but they also take part in community and school events. This will give those that approve new volunteer firefighters the support they need. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this common sense measure into law.”

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther said,“Volunteer firefighters are an invaluable and integral part of our community. They are in positions of trust and authority, regularly interacting with children, seniors and families who are vulnerable. This legislation goes a long way to ensuring that fire departments have all the tools they need to protect the community, as well as the department.”

Lake Placid, NY

#2 Aug 11, 2014
You may want to take this law seriously members of Copenhagen Fire Department. There are men in your department that need to be relieved from duty.

Don't make your department look any worse than it already does. Do the right thing. Now that this law has been passed, the people of Copenhagen will fight to get them out. We don't want sex offenders in our Fire Department or on Drill teams where 100's of kids attend the events. We will stand up and fight.

I know not all members will be against this law, but I know at least a few who are.
Not Surprised

United States

#4 Nov 15, 2014
Copenhagen Fire Department and Village Officials are choosing to ignore the new law protecting the community from predators. Just thought community should know.

Albany, NY

#5 Nov 15, 2014
Not Surprised wrote:
Copenhagen Fire Department and Village Officials are choosing to ignore the new law protecting the community from predators. Just thought community should know.
Actually, if you read the way the law was passed, it SCREWS the fire dept and the village from keeping offenders out. All it does is add in a background check during the application process. The dept can still vote them in too. And if the dept chooses not to based on the fact the person is a convicted sex offender, they can expect to be sued by the person because the state has a law stating they will not discriminate against having offenders as employees-which vol. Firefighters are considered. This law also supersedes any rules the village may enact(obviously because state law trumps local law) At this point if either the dept or the village tries to rid the dept of any offenders they may have, this law just gave them more grounds to sue on. It sounded good at first, and going by the first email I received from FASNY I was overjoyed by it. Now the version that has been made official, and especially the abbreviated release by their lawyers explaining the law, it does no help-IT SCREWS US!!!

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