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Board Seeks Peace Officer Status For Town Fire Marshals

 

At its May 5th meeting, the Huntington Town Board approved Resolution #2015-221 asking the New York State Legislature to provide peace officer status for its staff of uniformed fire marshals.

During the public comment session of the Board meeting, resident Andrew Scanlon, questioning the wisdom of the peace officer recommendation, asked Supervisor Frank Petrone if this step meant that fire marshals would “carry weapons.” Mr. Petrone replied, “Yes.

Pursuing his line of questioning further, Mr. Scanlon then asked, “Why are we making fire marshals peace officers?” Whereupon Mr. Petrone said, “We felt there was a need for it; there’s a need for them to do this.” Amplifying his comments, Mr. Petrone opined that “. . . . . . our Harbor Masters have this. We gave them that designation a few years back and it works well, and we felt the fire marshals should have the same.

We tried to conduct a telephone interview with Town of Huntington Chief Fire Marshall Terrance McNally, but were referred to Town spokesman AJ Carter for all questions and comments. Mr. Carter related that the Town Board had asked the State Legislature for the same approval on “four or five” prior occasions and was simply re-iterating its request. “It doesn’t mean they’re going to be armed,” said Mr. Carter.

The Town website indicates that, in addition to conducting a wide range of building inspections, the Fire Prevention Bureau is responsible for promoting fire safety throughout the town. They issue permits for alarm, sprinkler and fire suppression systems.

You can see the exchange between Mr. Scanlon and Mr. Petrone here: http://huntingtonny.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=837 . Move the video scroll bar to 1 hour, 25 minutes, 53 seconds (1’25”53’”).

The Board unanimously passed the Resolution. You can see the board vote here: http://huntingtonny.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=837 . Fast forward to 1 hour, 48 minutes, 34 seconds (1’48”34”’) on the video scroll bar.

 

 

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