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Some W.Va. firefighters now have arrest powers

Charleston Fire Department
Charleston Fire Department(WSAZ)
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 10:06 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A law that went into effect in July is providing some members of fire departments with powers to arrest people.

West Virginia House Bill 4715 also allows trained members of the department to file complaints with appropriate courts.

In the city of Charleston the new law, along with a city ordinance, has given members of the Fire Prevention Bureau within the city’s fire department those powers.

The three members, or city fire marshals, are a part of CFD’s Fire Prevention Bureau. Once they complete specialized training they not only have arrest powers, they also have access to Charleston Police Department and Metro 911 information. All of this allows them to investigate, and follow-through on arson-related crimes.

Capt. Brandon Miller with the CFD Fire Prevention Bureau says in the short time the bureau has been in operation, it is helping them to hold more people accountable.

Miller also says it helps to ease the burden on the Charleston Police Department.

The city of Nitro is among several others across the state that has also implemented this practice.

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