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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76017 Find in a Library
Title: Organizing an Arson Task Force
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:50  Issue:3  Dated:(March 1981)  Pages:22-26
Author(s): K J Braun; R E Ford
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The development and training of an arson task force in Erie County, N.Y., sponsored by an LEAA grant are described, and the accomplishments of that force are summarized.
Abstract: By 1977, the arson problem in Erie County and Buffalo had become so severe that business leaders, law enforcement agencies, and firefighters decided on a concerted effort of arson prevention. They agreed to establish the Arson Task Force, consisting of police officers and firefighters, which would have the following duties: integrate the efforts of firefighters and police personnel, extend their efforts beyond the usual political area subdivisions, involve volunteer firemen in the project, maintain close contacts with the District Attorney's Office, conduct periodic training for all paid and volunteer firemen in arson awareness, and conduct arson awareness programs for the general public. In the first 14 months of operation, 774 total investigations have led to determination of 336 confirmed arson cases. Of these, 63 arson cases have been cleared by arrest. A total of 19 percent of arsons investigated have been cleared by the task force, which compares favorably with a national clearance rate of 9 percent. An integral part of the LEAA grant is a training program in which approximately 300 volunteer firemen have participated in a 40-hour arson detection course. The greatest problem encountered in the endeavor was the administrative coordination of grant funds within the different police and fire departments. Though the LEAA grant was not renewed, the task force continues to operate on county appropriations. No references are given.
Index Term(s): Anti-Arson Programs; Arson investigations; Crime specific countermeasures; Firefighters; Interagency cooperation; New York; Police personnel
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