The Fair Lawn Policemen’s Benevolent Association honored long-time members of the borough’s Juvenile Conference Committee at Tuesday’s council meeting.
The JCC is a volunteer arm of the juvenile court in Hackensack whose job -- after being trained -- is to adjudicate cases involving alleged juvenile offenders so those offenders don’t have to be tried in Hackensack.
“It gives [juvenile offenders] another step along the way to try to turn them back on the right direction,” said PBA president David Boone, who sits in at JCC meetings as a police liasion to help the committee review and clarify items.
Cases that come before the JCC are heard in a confidential setting in which the accused juvenile, his or her parents and the complainant are invited to discuss the offense. The JCC considers the facts, and offers recommendations to the judge in hopes of bringing a resolution that will aid the juvenile's rehabilitation.
The JCC can hear charges that range from shoplifting to criminal mischief to simple assault.
“The Volunteers on the JCC are very dedicated and certainly they know that volunteering is doing the time without the crime,” Boone said. “It’s an important job and they do it well.”
Fair Lawn’s JCC has nine adult members and one juvenile member who have a combined 124 years of volunteer service on the committee between them.
“After going to school all day or working all day, they come out and spend hours, once a month, in a court session and spend the time with our young people to help them,” Boone said. “And that’s the key of why they’re here.”
On behalf of the PBA, Boone recognized five JCC members who had served on the committee for15 or more years – Joan Fragala (15 years); Ann Lustgarden (17 years); Catherine Ax (19 years); Angela Graff (23 years); and Rabbi Selig Salkowitz (38 years).
All five long-time JCC volunteers received a desk clock engraved with their name.