Background checks for individuals seeking to be elected or appointed as a volunteer firefighter
Chapter 198 of the Laws of 2014
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation that prohibits an individual registered under the sex offender from being elected or appointed as a volunteer firefighter.
The measure, Chapter 198 of the Laws of 2014, requires individual fire companies to determine if a prospective volunteer member is eligible to be “elected or appointed as a volunteer member” of the fire company if that person has been convicted of a “registerable sex offense.”
The Act amends Section 837-o of the Executive Law to read as follows “§837-o. Search for arson and sex offense conviction records of volunteer firefighter applicants” [emphasis supplied].
In addition, Chapter 198 amends subdivision 17 of §176-b of the Town Law, subdivision 19 of §10-1006 of the Village Law and §1402(c)(5) of the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law in relation to qualifications to serve as a volunteer firefighter
Further, subdivision (3) of Section 837-o of The Executive Law was amended by adding a new paragraph, paragraph (d), which paragraph reads as follows::
“If a person is denied election or appointment as a volunteer member of a fire company based in whole or in part on the fact that he or she stands convicted of a crime which requires the person to register as a sex offender under article six-C of the correction law, he or she shall be advised by the fire company of the rights to challenge and appeal the information contained in the record of conviction as provided in the rules and regulations of the division, and provided by the fire company with a copy of the criminal history record received by the fire company and with a copy of sections seven hundred fifty-two and seven hundred fifty-three of the correction law.”.