Criminal Background Checks for Applicants for Membership to Volunteer Fire Departments

New York State Executive Law §837 (effective April 1, 2000) requires applicants for membership to volunteer fire departments to undergo a criminal history check through the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to determine if they stand convicted of the crime of arson in New York State. This law applies to new applicants, transfers from other fire companies and reinstatements to membership. A follow-up arson background check must be completed for minors (under the age of 18) once they reach the age of 18. Fire chiefs are encouraged to get parental permission before conducting any background investigations on minors. 

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office provides this service at no charge to local fire departments. The application, the DCJS-VFF form, should be printed, typed or completed legibly by hand, and mailed to the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office by the Fire Chief.

It’s imperative that the forms be legible or they will be rejected, further delaying the processing. Please do not fax paper forms.

The FIRE CHIEF must sign the form and mail it to the Sheriff’s Office. The results will be mailed TO THE FIRE CHIEF.   


Download the DCJS-VFF Form PDF Icon

Please mail completed DCJS-9 Forms to:

Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office

Attn: Chief Dispatcher

100 Center Drive

Riverhead NY 11901                                                                        


Call (631) 852-2155 for more information.