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  1. #1
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Default NH police officers dress as FF's to make arrest

    Am I the only one that has an issue with this?

    Original article from Officer.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Officer.com
    NEWPORT, N.H. --

    Police dressed as firefighters to arrest a man they said pointed a shotgun at an officer responding to a noise complaint earlier.

    Newport police said an officer knocked on the door of Matthew Miller's Sunapee Street apartment at 10 p.m. Tuesday because of a noise complaint. The officer said that when Miller, 34, opened the door, he pointed a shotgun at the officer.

    Police said the officer had no room to run, and it wasn't feasible to draw his weapon, so the officer talked Miller into placing the shotgun on the floor. The officer said he also saw other weapons and a 1-year-old child in the apartment. Because the officer didn't have backup, he left the area.

    An investigation revealed that Miller was a convicted felon and had a history of violence.

    Police obtained arrest and search warrants, and officers from other communities were called in to assist with Miller's arrest. Newport Fire was also called for medical support and to provide a cover for police.

    Officers dressed as firefighters and used a fire truck to enter the property. A fire alarm was activated to evacuate other residents.

    Police said Miller was seen at his window during the evacuation, and when he opened his door while carrying the baby, he was arrested without incident.

    Miller was charged with criminal threatening and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was ordered held on $15,000 bail.

    Police said they found a shotgun, pistol, rifle scopes, night vision equipment and body armor in Miller's apartment.
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  2. #2
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    Never met a cop that didn't want to be a FF..... (that's a joke, damn it!!)

    Wasn't there, but just wonder why it was necessary to impersonate FF's? Could plainclothes have done the job?

  3. #3
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Terrible policy. Seems like it exposed a lot of innocent people to a potential problem.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  4. #4
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    If I remember correctly, there was a similar incident a few years back where the PD posed as Firefighters and there was a big discussion on here about it.
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

  5. #5
    Forum Member sfd1992's Avatar
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    Impersonating a cop is a crime, but the cops can dress up as FFs as a ruse to arrest somebody. Every time it happens it ******es me off.

    I'd love to respond to the next AFA at that building, after the ****** they arrested makes bail.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    Default

    It was not too long ago in Nashville they did this. I remember the bullet holes in ambulances later.

  7. #7
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    This is obviously bad because right now our customers trust us. If the cops do this enough, then people may think twice before opening the door for us when we show up. Worse, they may begin shooting first when we knock.

    At least the cops have vests to wear, and I don't mean the bright yellow ones.

  8. #8
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    This is not a time for jokes. This is a serious issue.

    This subject has been discussed several times in the past. This is poor policy. It is also poor tactics. There are tactical methods to execute a dangerous entry. They had time to wait this out. They had the legal paperwork to do the job properly.

    Dumping the building with the alarm is a poor tectical decision as well. It is no different than dumping a school via the fire alarm when there is an active shooter. You leave the evacuees as sitting ducks. There was ample time to conduct an orderly evacuation.

    The scumbag pointed a weapon at the officer, but, as far as the story details, there was no overt threat to the child.

    It is tactically a mistake to "pose" as something you are not when you are in a non-undercover law enforcement capacity. And, yes, it does cause a PR nightmare for the FD.

    And let us not lose sight of one thing. Someone from the FD gave the okey-doke to this plan. They are just as much at fault.

    Before you say it...yes they did have a choice.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  9. #9
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    This should not have happened.
    Period.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  10. #10
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    George is right on the money. I'm all for the PD being creative and finding new ways to trick the scum of the earth into apprehension. But this was not a good for all the reasons that have already been stated.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  11. #11
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    This is not a time for jokes. This is a serious issue.

    This subject has been discussed several times in the past. This is poor policy. It is also poor tactics. There are tactical methods to execute a dangerous entry. They had time to wait this out. They had the legal paperwork to do the job properly.

    Dumping the building with the alarm is a poor tectical decision as well. It is no different than dumping a school via the fire alarm when there is an active shooter. You leave the evacuees as sitting ducks. There was ample time to conduct an orderly evacuation.

    The scumbag pointed a weapon at the officer, but, as far as the story details, there was no overt threat to the child.

    It is tactically a mistake to "pose" as something you are not when you are in a non-undercover law enforcement capacity. And, yes, it does cause a PR nightmare for the FD.

    And let us not lose sight of one thing. Someone from the FD gave the okey-doke to this plan. They are just as much at fault.

    Before you say it...yes they did have a choice.
    Good post George.
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    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    This is not a time for jokes. This is a serious issue.

    This subject has been discussed several times in the past. This is poor policy. It is also poor tactics. There are tactical methods to execute a dangerous entry. They had time to wait this out. They had the legal paperwork to do the job properly.

    Dumping the building with the alarm is a poor tectical decision as well. It is no different than dumping a school via the fire alarm when there is an active shooter. You leave the evacuees as sitting ducks. There was ample time to conduct an orderly evacuation.

    The scumbag pointed a weapon at the officer, but, as far as the story details, there was no overt threat to the child.

    It is tactically a mistake to "pose" as something you are not when you are in a non-undercover law enforcement capacity. And, yes, it does cause a PR nightmare for the FD.

    And let us not lose sight of one thing. Someone from the FD gave the okey-doke to this plan. They are just as much at fault.

    Before you say it...yes they did have a choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    This should not have happened.
    Period.

    TOTALLY AGREE ON BOTH POINTS!!!

    VERY BAD NEWS!
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  13. #13
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    Thumbs down Box Alarm beat me to it!

    I spit my breakfast out this morning while watching Channel 9 news here in NH. I sent the following message on the Channel 9 website under the stories comment section (there is also a post from Durham FD Capt. Richardson there).

    Smart police work? To IMPERSONATE the Fire Department and ABUSE the authority and rights provided by LAW regarding FD access to a building during an emergency? ABUSING the public trust? How about circumnavigating Constitutional Rights and PROPER search warrant and entering procedures? Bet this guys lawyer has a field day with this one. Causing alarm and concern in the other residents of the building? BETRAYING the public's trust in their Fire Dept? Absolutely ABSURD! What if a real fire emergency had occurred during this FARCE of a "search warrant" and gear and FD vehicles was committed here instead of being ready to respond? The police and fire chief should BOTH be reprimanded/disciplined for such a serious lack of judgement. I understand that we can not have people pointing guns at the police and that those issues should be dealt with but not at the expense of the integrity of MY profession and MY "work" uniform. How can I feel safe entering a building in my turnout gear on a legitimate emergency when some nefarious person may suspect me and my crew of being there under false pretenses or false identities? Criminals need to be dealt with swiftly and with in the full letter of the laws but not under knee jerk decisions that work against public safety, trust and rights. I sincerely hope the States Police and Firefighter's Unions jump to attention and cry out against this poor judgement. Jay - Fulltime NH Firefighter and husband of a former Police Officer

    Mar. 5, 2009 6:22am EST | from NHBravest

    When I am done here I am sending a request to the PFFNH as an IAFF and PFFNH member for that orginization to officially censure the police AND fire chiefs of Newport NH. This is ridiculous....
    Proud to be an American, Union Firefighter!

  14. #14
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    They had all the required warrants and paperwork. The disguise was so they could move in without the perp knowing the police were there and avoid what could have turned into an armed stand-off. Nothing was abused and nobody's rights were violated.

    With that said, all the other issues that everyone including yourself have brought up remain valid. While this "tactic" worked, it was a very bad idea.
    Last edited by nmfire; 03-05-2009 at 07:31 AM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  15. #15
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    They had all the required warrants and paperwork. The disguise was so they could move in without the perp knowing the police were there and avoid what could have turned into an armed stand-off. Nothing as abused and nobody's rights were violated.

    All the other issues that everyone including yourself have brought up remain valid. While this "tactic" worked, ti was a very bad idea.
    Police officers in plain clothes could have accomplished the same thing.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  16. #16
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    I know, I'm not justifying their tactic. I'm just responding to the slight misinformation about the warrant and civil rights. I agree that both the PD and FD chiefs should be flogged repeatedly for being so foolish.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI And let us not lose sight of one thing. Someone from the FD gave the okey-doke to this plan. They are just as much at fault.

    Before you say it...yes they did have a choice.
    Thats the scary part. Someone in a large white hat gave the "OK" to do this, and I hope that there are no future reprecussions because of this.

  18. #18
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    Default I'm sorry..

    ...I didn't realize you were there and involved in the case nmfire. Misinformation? OK then, please enlighten us to how it is legal for the POLICE to get a search warrant and then execute it under the guise of being the FIRE DEPT. under NH law. What "required paperwork" as you stated DID they have? He was lured out under the pretenses of a fire alarm going off NOT because the PD was there to arrest him. I am all for his butt getting tossed in the who-skow but not at the expense of the integrity and uniform of my profession and my fellow FF in Newport.

    My seemingly acidic reply is because I work in this state and it is all over our local news. I am not that far from Newport and I seriously hope the people who live in the community I serve don't watch this story (which the news seems to portray as a great idea!) think this debacle is standard op's anywhere else...
    Proud to be an American, Union Firefighter!

  19. #19
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    A situation occured up here quite a few years back involving FD being asked to assist in a police operation. After a playoff hockey game, a bunch of damn fool drunks started to riot. Police and city officials asked Fd to assist by bringing in a couple of units from side streets. They used turret monitors to lay a pretty good water blanket over the crowd. Spring in Alberta is not really balmy and exuberance was soon cooled down. There was no real danger to the FD, but the possibility existed and there was a pretty good hue and cry from the media as well as from FF. It was felt that this was discredible conduct to use the fire service as an extension of LE. This has never happened again and I believe there was a law or ordinance passed forbidding it. That said, I knew some of the guys on the crew and they thought it was quite effective in diffusing a potentially bad situation. Temp that evening was about +5 C.

  20. #20
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    Just another case of " we are the cops, and we can do anything in the name of "public safety". wonder if the fire chief put up a stink when they proposed this, or just sure let's do it.

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