Tips for Working with Law Enforcement

Issue 2 and Volume 162.

BY BARRY S. DASKAL Quite often, fire and EMS responses bring us in contact with members of law enforcement. Police officers have an equally important job with all the requisite pressures and dangers we face. This article focuses on situations where firefighters and law enforcement officers are not “on the same page”; how to resolve these differences; and, more importantly, how to avoid problems before they occur. TYPES OF LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMBERS There are many types of law enforcement agencies: municipal police, private or contract services, city, state, and federal. Not all law enforcement officers (LEOs) are the same. Anecdotally, big city cops will be the first to point out: “I am not a LEO; I am a cop.” Not every police officer is a cop; the difference is very similar to fire service rivalries within houses and among neighboring companies or departments. Levels of authority, powers of arrest, policy,…

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