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Sep 23, 2016

Police Faulted For Not Properly Securing Fire Scenes

Police generally do a good job sealing off exits and entrances for crime scenes and at court moving prisoners around. But scene security during fires, in contrast, has been a constant struggle for officers who are deployed to cordon off the area and ensure that essential service providers like the Fire Department, B.E.R.T and B.E.L can move in and do their job.  This scenario of the police’s inability to ensure crowd control has been played out time and time again at various fire scenes across the city. And, it could lead, in cases of alleged arson, to potentially losing a criminal case if one is established. On Thursday, Station Manager at the Fire Department, Orin Smith, was questioned about it. He said that although they have a good working relationship with the Police Department, questions about security are a matter for them.

 

Orin Smith

Orin Smith, Station Manager, National Fire Service

“We have a presently good working relations with the Police Department in reference to scene security in most fires; but I do see your point in reference to the fire yesterday. I myself when I arrived on scene was trying to get into a parked position, and I had some individuals standing around on the sidewalk – basically on the street and some were on the sidewalk – and even though I was honking my horn for their attention to move from the wayside, they stood there and didn’t move. So I can see your point in bringing that up. However, I guess that would be something that the Police would have to look into in terms of having sufficient personnel on scene to appropriately cordon and control access into those areas.”

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