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 Statter911.com
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.
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