A decision this week by Newport, New Hampshire police to use a fire truck and pose as firefighters to make an arrest of a suspected violent suspect is getting quite a lot of buzz around the country.

"Police officers dressed as firefighters and using a fire truck entered the building and activated the fire alarm to evacuate residents in a safe manner so as not to bring attention to the pending arrest of Miller," Newport Police Chief David Hoyt said in a news release included in the Union Leader story.

On Thursday, the union representing local firefighters responded with grave concern about the incident, saying firefighters and paramedics depend on the public trusting that when they show up, it's to save lives.

"The use of the firefighter and paramedic image in this way is inappropriate, should not be condoned and is not negotiable," David Lang, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire said during a press conference, according to the Union Leader.

A press release from the union posted on stated "Allowing police officers to impersonate fire fighters potentially makes the difficult job of fire fighters even more dangerous because it casts doubt in the publlic's mind of who's responding to a fire or medical emergency."

Long is asking the Commission of Safety and the state's Attorney General to demand that such actions never take place again.

The Union Leader reported that police officers saw the suspect in his apartment window with a small child in his arms as other building residents evacuated in the fake fire alarm. The suspect opened the door for the 'firefighters' (police) who then took him into custody without further incident. Numerous weapons and related materials were found in a subsequent search of the apartment.


Post your thoughts on this incident.

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I don't care what kind of criminal he is/was, this was very, very wrong.
Well all is good, until a Firefighter is Shot, because the suspect now considers everyone to be Law Enforcement.
The other problem besides losing trust in the community for firefighters is the fact that criminals will read about this and in the future be suspicious of firefighters and may do harm thinking it is a cop impersonating a firefighter, the old adage shoot first ask after...
I would be persueing this issue through the DA and or Higher level for charges to be filed.
I agree that this should never happen. The last thing a fire department or rescue unit needs is to have someone decide that they are undercover police and decide to start target practice.
I respect that the intention was to make a safe arrest but the lasting consequences for fire and rescue personel take precedence.
And if I dress up as a cop and borrow a Crown Vic to put out a fire, I would go to Jail..
WEAR YOUR OWN UNIFORMS ! Horatio Cain doesn't have a problem, lol.
If you Cops did yor job a little better and used appropriate resources, you could walk in with plain clothes.....
I guess the saying is true, "if you can't stand the heat, become a cop". But in all seriousness, I find this action to be wrong. We fire/ems personnel are viewed by the public as the guys who show up to make things better.

Next time we want free donuts, do we impersonate the cops...?
Boy do I feel safe now !!! Dang just 1 more thing I have to get trained on is arresting a suspect , while I am putting out a fire !! Hell NO !! Do your own job butt holes .
Man, they got the child out safe, i think that is the bigger picture here, they were well with in their power of a law enforcement ruse. As long as they are not doing this every day, it will be forgotten the creepies don't have long term memories, and its rare that they take the time to read a paper. So i would say relax and know that the child was safe and nobody got hurt.

People need to toughen up.
This tactic was tried years ago. It presents a long term danger to all firefighters!!!
It must be stopped with a very public announcement from the Mayor and the Police Chief that it will never happen again.
Failure of the police to publicly and immediately sate that they will end this practice should result in the arrest of the police officers who falsely presented themselves as firefighters.
Who in their right mind would allow this , where was the chief, why did he allow it, now when we pull up yo a call , are we gonna be treated as cops. or worst shot at? Why could they not had just pulled the alatrm and waited as cops to arrest the guy, who would had been the wiser then
I read this yesterday and at the time thought it was just plain wrong. Talk about breaking the public trust in what we do.......

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