Controversy Continues After Council Unveils Takeover Plan for NJ Fire Department

The Leonia (NJ) borough council considered an ordinance to dismantle the 115-year-old volunteer fire department and replace it with a department completely under borough control.

The move prompted widespread outrage as angry residents and firefighters packed a meeting Monday night, according to a report on (

The borough council's attempted takeover comes  in the wake of an incident in which town politician's suspended the department after a three-year-old was allegedly molested in a firehouse.

Under the proposed ordinance, the company’s roughly 50 firefighters would have to reapply for their jobs in writing and pass a physical every two years to remain in uniform. Firefighters convicted of serious crimes, or of any crime involving fires or fire alarms, would be banned. The mayor and other politicians would select the department's top brass.

One firefighter said he believed the move was the first step in creating a paid department.

Read more about the situation in Leonia at

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