The Bergen County Juvenile Fire Prevention Program is one of the many innovative and unique programs offered to youth residing in Bergen County. Established through a grass roots effort of interested individuals in this county’s fire and police service, juvenile justice and mental health field, the program began accepting referrals in 1987, with the main goal of preventing and treating juvenile fire setting.
Juvenile fire setting is a behavior which is receiving growing attention. This program seeks to address the alarming statistic that 60-75% of all individuals arrested for arson are under the age of eighteen. In addition, youth who misuse fire have an 81% probability of repeating this behavior if there is no intervention, and are more likely to progress to higher risk fire-related activities.
The Bergen County Juvenile Fire Prevention Program is used extensively by the Bergen County Superior Court, probation, police and fire departments, DYFS, and social service agencies as an alternative for juveniles to involvement in the juvenile justice system. This program is dedicated and committed to improving the quality of life for children, families and the community at large through education and intervention by specially trained volunteer firefighters working in conjunction with mental health professionals.