More than $23,000 of federal funding will help continue a White Plains program geared toward educating juveniles considered a risk to start fires, officials announced Wednesday.
The Juvenile Fire Setter program educates juveniles who have been either convicted of or considered at-risk for fire starting activity. The goal of the program is to prevent future fires through outreach and education from the White Plains Fire Department.
“Local fire departments help keep our communities safe not just by putting out fires, but also by stopping them before they occur,” Congresswoman Nita Lowey said in a statement. “I am pleased the Department of Homeland Security is supporting this worthy program to help prevent children from starting fires.”
There were 53 fires set by juveniles in White Plains in 2011, according to Lowey's statement. The $23,600 grant will assist with training costs, educational materials and public education for the program.
"I would like to thank the White Plains federal delegation—Representative Lowey and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand—for helping White Plains secure this funding," said White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach. "The White Plains Fire Department Juvenile Fire Setter program provides valuable education and assistance to juveniles who have been involved in or are at risk for fire-related activity. These funds will assist us in maintaining this important community-wide education and awareness program."
The federal funding comes from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, which is administered by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Grants and Training in coordination with the U.S. Fire Administration. Lowey, a senior member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, announced the grant.