Police Negligence Allegedly Leads to Firefighter’s Death


Police Expert WitnessThis case involves a state police force that was serving an arrest warrant on a dangerous criminal, who was know to be armed and related to an international drug smuggling operation in Georgia. When the officers got to the criminal’s house the saw smoke coming from the garage. The fire department was called, and a fire fighter was sent inside the garage to investigate. Upon entering the garage, the firefighter was stabbed several times by the criminal that was supposed to be arrested. The firefighter was not warned about the potential for the criminal to be hiding inside of the building, nor was he protected by the officers who were present at the scene of the crime.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please briefly describe your familiarity with law enforcement best practices.
  • 2. Can you speak to this department's responsibility to warn third party law enforcement of any potential dangers scenarios?

Expert Witness Response E-090383

I am a Retired Supervisory Deputy Marshal from the U.S. Department of Justice. As a Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal, I was in charge of 80 Deputies Marshals and administering a budget over one million dollars. My primary duty was to oversee fugitive operations, responsible for prisoner transport, and the protection of officers of the court. I am very familiar with law enforcement policy, as I served as a Deputy U.S. Marshals for 20 years. The officers at the scene have a responsibility to warn third party law enforcement of any potential danger of the scene. The state troopers are the incident commander on the scene. The incident commander is the person responsible for all aspects of an emergency response.

Expert Witness Response E-084393

I have been contracted with law enforcement for over 25 years to help train their agents, specifically on proper entry situations like this and when third party teams are involved. There is a specific entry protocol particularly when local law enforcement or firefighters are involved. It is incumbent upon them to protect the public so firstly by letting the firefighter go in there unarmed or without an agent is a problem. If they established residency of the fugitive and sent in the firefighter without notifying him of the fugitive that is also a problem.

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