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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The fact that people on this site are arguing over this is sad, just sad!
I want to know WHO authorized this fiasco and WHEN their boss is going to FIRE them.... this is purely rediculous.... Dress up as a UPS man or something... but damn sure not a FF/EMT.... our job is hard enough as it is... I hope those moron's NEVER need a REAL fire truck.... but since they (the cops) know how to dress up like us and drive one of our big trucks... LET THEM PUT OUT THEIR OWN FIRES.....

"Police devised the plan to take 34-year-old Matthew Miller into custody. Police went to his apartment Tuesday night for a noise complaint. When Miller answered the door he was holding a baby, and allegedly pointed a shotgun at the officer's face. The officer, who knew Miller had a violent past, left the scene to avoid a confrontation. So the next day the officers came back in a fire truck dressed as firemen. "

Its call GUN CONTROL... HIT WHAT YOU SHOOT AT!!!!!!!! If their "lets play dress up" cops knew how to hit what they aimed at... this wouldnt be an issue.. oh yeah... how do you open a door, hold a kid, AND hold a shotgun???

"Newport Fire Chief Wayne Conroy was in on the plot, and says he does not think residents will lose trust in his department. " .... Uh huh... hang your job out too Conroy... you dont deserve to be called Chief.

""If we as police didn't handle it correctly it was going to be disastrous for innocent people. This was the best possible scenario. It worked and it was very quick. It was not harmful to anybody. It's not to degrade those professions, to make those professions unsafe in any way. It's to accomplish our mission safely, without causing harm to anybody," said Newport Police Chief David Hoyt. "

Hey Hoyt... what are we out there in the middle of the night banging on doors trying to get folks out of a burning building? Marshmellow toasters??? WE the FIRE SERVICE are some of those innocents you have now put in jepordy because now, when ever an alarm goes off in a building, those scum you SHOULD have behind bars are going to think "hmmm this real or is this the cops coming to take me away?" ... If I get shot dealing with one of these idiots who now thinks I might be a cop, I wanna know if YOU TWO IDIOTS will be at my funeral and tell my loved ones WHY I was mistaken for a cop!!!!!

Make ya a deal... you keep your guns outta my firetrucks for your own gain... and I will keep my 1000 gallons of water from cleaning out the inside of yall's police cars... how bout it?

I don't live and work far from this story. From what I can obtain for information is the Fire Chief and Police Chief were involved TOGETHER. They debated for a while. The police officer was confronted by the person earlier with a gun over a noise complaint (the night before). They returned the next morning with a fire truck and turnout gear.

The problem is exactly what you all have hit on already. The public's trust of the fire department has been broken. I understand this guy was probably a bad person. I get that.... but the foundation of our public/firefighter relationship has been built on one thing... trust. We can legally enter a home without a search warrant, seize a property for the well being of public or the property, EVEN in the absence of said owner.

The next time we enter to resolve an overdose, are the fellow drug addicts and/or dealers in the victims presence going to think we an FF/EMT/EMTI or PARAMEDIC also a cop? Probably in Newport... Hopefully not in my city but I am sure I will definately not drop my focus of our safety now that our trust has been broken in a nearby town.

Kristy, the answer to your call would have been an easy one for me (as the officer) When the police clear the scene and provide us "the fire department" or "the ambulance service" with a safe working environment, then I would have proceeded into the scene with my crew. I don't care if the person was just about to die or not... we are not going into the scene with a cop undercover... let that cop do his or her job first then bring in the EMT's.

The action of the police chief has hurt the trust factor that we the fire service have built. The fact that the police left the scene for hours and returned with this identity scam is sad on many fronts. The bad guy must have been a real threat to his fellow occupants, to the point that they were so concerned that they returned HOURS later. The police chief saw a simple plan to resolve a potentially dangerous situation.

How about leaving the building as he did and waiting for him to leave the apartment building? What about calling specially trained law enforcement officers to come to his little town and resolve the issue professionally.


If I was to impersonate a cop, I would bet the charge would not hold up in court... let alone probably land me in jail for impersonating an LEO.

My department stopped assisting the PD with handling unruly crowds, civic unrest or public mobs by using an engine's deckgun back in the 1970's.

But that was when the fire chief realized that firefighter's are not law enforcement officer's and our public image of being a trusted community servant (one that is not a THREAT) to anyone was very important to our profession.

Personal attacks are not permitted here. People are entitled to their opinions and others are invited to respond, but calling names will result in account termination. Several posts have been removed in this thread. Keep the discussion on topic.
This is simple have them arrested and charged with impersonating a public official. This is what would happen if someone dressed up as a police officer to tried to get people to believe they were real. This just goes to prove what I tell the police all the time, "dont hate the firefighters cause you took the wrong test."
Impersonating and officer is against the law, right? Why do you think that is? I would think it had something to do with public trust. I do know that in Virginia it is illegal to misrepresent yourself as a paramedic or to misstate your level of training.
This is unfriggn' real. Now the next time I go into "crack central" I have to worry about who has warrents and what they are interperting my words and actions as.
This is getting out of control on this issue, look its over and done with. Do agree whit what happened no, but I was not there, if they had consent of the fire chief then they did nothing wrong, it was the fire chiefs call to let them do this.
now i have to worry more that i may get shot going to a house fire. i am told to take my lights out of service when i go out of town so people dont think i am a cop and they stop doin bad stuff . i guess will have to be part of our turnout gear. mount shotguns on dash.
Lets keep the dialogue going..nothing wrong with folks posting their need to give folks a hard time for posting theirs.
As clever as this was and no one got hurt and it was probably the safest way to protect the child. You should never impersonate police officers or firefighters. It makes it way more dangerous to do our jobs. When people can't trust even the firefighters at there front door.

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