The Secaucus Volunteer Fire Department will now allow members who are not United States citizens after a Town Council meeting on January 9.
The decision was the result of a 2017 search for new firefighters that led to applicants that were not United States citizens but were in the country legally. The town had an old law that required firefighters to be U.S. citizens but the Town Council drew up an ordinance to change the law.
However, that move led some local firefighters to show up at the December 20 meeting and complain that only citizens should be allowed within the department.
At the first Town Council meeting of 2018, Deputy Chief Carl Leppin and Chief Joseph Schoendorf spoke in favor of the ordinance and said the department is not aligned with those who complained at the December meeting.
The Town Council changed the law to adhere to current state and federal laws.