[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Franklin Lakes 2-14-1990 by Ord. No. 893 as Sec. 2-21 of the 1988 Code; amended in its entirety 3-20-2012 by Ord. No. 1537. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- FRANKLIN LAKES FIRE COMPANY or FIRE COMPANY
- An independent nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of New Jersey and federally recognized under IRC § 501(c)(3). It is funded by contributions and is officially known and designated as the "Borough of Franklin Lakes Fire Department, Incorporated."
- FRANKLIN LAKES FIRE DEPARTMENT or FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The volunteer fire department of the Borough of Franklin Lakes, which is under the control of the Mayor and Council.
The Fire Department as heretofore created and established, coextensive with the territorial limits of the Borough, is hereby continued.
The Mayor and Council shall have full charge and control of the Fire Department and the fire equipment of the Borough. The officers of the Fire Department shall be responsible to the Mayor and Council for all fire-fighting activities and for the repair, upkeep, care and control of all equipment.
[Amended 7-15-2014 by Ord. No. 1599]
All persons who fulfill the membership requirements of this chapter and also the regular membership requirements of the Constitution and bylaws of the Franklin Lakes Fire Company and who promise to perform the duties prescribed thereby shall become members of the Fire Department. The Fire Department may also maintain a junior firefighter program for young persons, ages 16 and 17, interested in serving their community and preparing to become regular members of the Fire Department.
[Amended 7-15-2014 by Ord. No. 1599]
All members must be citizens of the United States residing in or employed in the Borough of Franklin Lakes or residing in the bordering towns of North Haledon and Wayne or in the towns in the Northwest Bergen Mutual Aid Association who are of good character and standing and who have reached their 18th but not their 46th birthday shall be eligible to apply for membership; except that junior firefighters shall be for persons ages 16 and 17. Maximum age limit shall be waived to applicants transferring from another department within one year or former members who left the Department in good standing.
The line officers of the Fire Department shall consist of a Chief, an Assistant Chief, two Captains, and two Lieutenants. Any of these positions may be filled or left vacant. Other line and administrative officers may be provided for by the constitution and bylaws of the Franklin Lakes Fire Company.
The line officers shall be elected by ballot by the regular members of the Franklin Lakes Fire Company as hereinafter provided. They shall hold office for a term of one year commencing on January 1 following their election. However, the election of the aforesaid line officers shall be confirmed by the Borough Council before they shall be entitled to hold office.
In the event the Borough Council shall refuse to confirm the election of a line officer, the Mayor and Borough Council shall then appoint such temporary line officers to hold office until such officers are elected by the Franklin Lakes Fire Company and confirmed by the Borough Council.
It shall be the duty of the Chief to submit a report to the Borough Council at its regular meeting in each month. The report shall show the condition of the Fire Department and of the apparatus and any other matters concerning the Fire Department which the Chief may deem necessary.
In case of a vacancy from any cause in the office of Chief, the Assistant Chief shall perform the duties of Chief and a Captain shall perform the duties of Assistant Chief.
In case of disobedience by any member of the Fire Department, a complaint shall be made to the Mayor and Council, or its designee, provided at least two of the following officers concur that a complaint should be made: Chief, Assistant Chief and Captains. The Mayor and Council, or its designee, shall hold a hearing on the charges. If the charges are sustained, the Mayor and Council, or its designee, may suspend or expel such member from the Fire Department. A complaint may be made to the Mayor and Council, or its designee, provided at least two of the following officers concur that a complaint should be made: Chief, Assistant Chief and Captains.
Any officer in the Fire Department may be removed from office at any time by the Mayor and Council, or its designee, for neglect of duty or other just cause after charges thereof have been made and sustained, following a hearing before the Mayor and Council, or its designee.
The members of the Franklin Lakes Fire Company may adopt a constitution and bylaws, not inconsistent with the terms and provisions of this chapter, which shall be subject to the approval of the Borough Council. Copies of any duly adopted and approved constitution or bylaws shall be filed with the Borough Clerk.
Each member of the Franklin Lakes Fire Company shall be entitled to receive two badges, which shall remain the property of the Fire Department. Upon the termination of membership in the Fire Department, the badges shall be surrendered.
All services rendered by the members of the Fire Department shall be voluntary to the Borough and its residents.
Criminal history background checks required. Criminal history background checks shall be required for all members of the Fire Department.
Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:
- AUTHORIZED VENDOR
- A vendor which is authorized by the State of New Jersey to conduct criminal history record background checks.
- CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD BACKGROUND
- A determination of whether a person has a criminal record by cross-referencing that person's records with those on file with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Identification Division and the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Borough of Franklin Lakes Police Department.
Requests for criminal background checks and costs.
The Borough requires that all members of the Fire Department request through the Police Department that the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police or an authorized vendor conduct a criminal history record background check on each prospective and current employee or volunteer of the organization. There shall be a thirty-day grace period for each new member to make application for this criminal history record background check. All new members must have their applications completed by the end of the thirty-day grace period.
The Borough shall conduct a criminal history record background check only upon receipt of the written consent for the check from the prospective or current member.
The Borough shall bear the costs associated with conducting a criminal history background check.
The Division of State Police or the authorized vendor shall inform the Police Department whether the person's criminal history record background check reveals a conviction of a disqualifying crime or offense specified in Subsection D of this section. Any information received by the Police Department shall be confidential.
Any person who, by virtue of his or her occupation, is required by statute to undergo a federal and state criminal history record background check similar in nature to the requirements contained herein, and who can provide proof of the results of such background check, is exempt from the requirement hereunder until three years have elapsed since the most current background check.
Conditions under which a person is disqualified from service. A person may be disqualified from serving as a member of the Fire Department if that person's criminal history record background check reveals a record of conviction of any of the following crimes and offenses:
In New Jersey, any crime or disorderly persons offense:
Involving danger to the person, meaning those crimes and disorderly persons offenses as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1 et seq., such as criminal homicide; N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 et seq., such as assault, reckless endangerment, threats, stalking; N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1 et seq., such as kidnapping; N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1 et seq., such as sexual assault; or N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 et seq., such as robbery;
Against the family, children or incompetents, meaning those crimes and disorderly persons offenses set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:24-1 et seq., such as endangering the welfare of a child;
Involving theft, as set forth in Chapter 20 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes;
In any other state or jurisdiction, conduct which, if committed in New Jersey, would constitute any of the crimes or disorderly persons offenses described in this section.
Submission/exchange of background information. A prospective or current member of the Fire Department shall submit his or her application and written consent to the Police Department for the criminal history record background check to be performed. The organization shall submit this documentation to the Police Department through the officer in charge, who shall cause the background check to be conducted, and refer the information to the State Police and FBI or the authorized vendor for the initial check. Thereafter, all subsequent background checks shall be submitted to the officer in charge, who shall coordinate a background check every three years after the date of the initial check.
Limitations on access and use of criminal history record information.
Access to criminal history record information for non-criminal justice purposes, including licensing and employment, is restricted to the members of the Police Department as authorized by federal or state statute, rule or regulation, executive order, administrative code, local ordinance, or resolution regarding obtaining and disseminating of criminal history record information obtained under this section.
Criminal history record information furnished shall not be disseminated to persons or organizations not authorized to receive the records for authorized purposes. Use of this record shall be limited solely to the authorized purpose for which it was given, and it shall not be disseminated to any unauthorized persons or entities. Any person violating federal or state regulations governing access to criminal history record information may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.
Challenge of accuracy of report.
If a criminal history record may disqualify a current or prospective member for any purpose, the current or prospective member shall be provided with an opportunity to complete and challenge the accuracy of the information contained in the criminal history record. The current or prospective member shall be afforded a reasonable period of time to correct and complete this record. A person is not presumed guilty of any charges or arrests for which there are no final dispositions indicated on the record. The Police Department shall coordinate between the current or prospective member and the Division of State Police or the authorized vendor any such opportunity to complete or challenge the accuracy of the information contained in the criminal history record.
No person or entity shall be held liable in any civil or criminal action brought by any party based on any written notification on file with the Police Department pursuant to the provisions of this section.
Notification of subsequent disqualifying offense. If a current or prospective member is convicted of a disqualifying crime or offense as specified in Subsection D hereof after such person has cleared the required background check, such person must immediately (but no later than three days after such conviction) notify the Borough Administrator of that fact. Such person shall be immediately disqualified from his or her position.