15:8-4. Appointment of members of volunteer fire company for police duty, certain circumstances
15:8-4. Any duly organized volunteer fire company may provide for the appointment of certain of its members to perform certain police duties at fires and fire drills, for a term of office not exceeding five years from the date of the appointment. The appointed members shall, before entering upon their duties, qualify by:
(1)Successfully completing a basic fire police training course formulated or approved by the Division of Fire Safety.
(2)Taking and subscribing an oath that they will justly, impartially and faithfully discharge their duties according to the best of their ability and understanding. The oath shall be administered by the municipal clerk and subscribed to in duplicate. The original copy of the oath shall be filed with the municipal clerk and the copy thereof filed with the secretary of the fire company making the appointment.
After appointment, a qualified member shall be eligible as a fire police officer and shall have full power and authority to act as a fire police officer anywhere in the county in which he is appointed or in any other county in which he is called upon to act.
It shall be the duty of a member of the fire police to perform his duties under the supervision of the fire officer in charge of the fire or fire drill, until the arrival of a duly authorized police officer, who shall assume responsibility for the supervision of the performance of traffic duties, preservation of evidence and all other law enforcement duties. Nothing in this paragraph shall diminish the powers of the chief or other superior officer of any volunteer fire company in the exercise of his duties pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1981, c.435 (C.40A:14-54.1).
The duties of said fire police subject to the supervision aforesaid shall be to:
(1)Protect property and contents.
(2)Establish and maintain fire lines.
(3)Perform such traffic duties as necessary, from the fire station to and at the vicinity of the fire, fire drill or other emergency call, until the arrival of a duly authorized police officer or at any public event where fire police services may be requested to protect the public, subject to the approval of and supervision by the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the public event takes place, or the Superintendent of State Police if the municipality does not have a police department.
(4)In the absence of investigating authorities, fire police shall investigate all causes of fires and preserve all evidence pertaining to questionable fires and turn evidence over to proper investigating authorities.
(5)Wear the authorized fire police badge on the left breast of the outermost garment while on duty.
Provided, however, nothing herein contained shall give the fire police or any of them the right to supersede a duly authorized police officer.
If any person shall unreasonably refuse to obey the orders of the fire police, a fire police officer may arrest him and keep him under arrest until the fire is extinguished or the drill completed. If the offender is found guilty by a municipal court or Superior Court, he shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $200 and costs.
Amended 1940, c.235; 1947, c.293; 1953, c.15, s.5; 1953, c.292; 1979, c.53; 1991, c.91, s.230; 1998, c.61.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016