OCT 12 2009

Firefighters and Arson


The West Virginia State Capitol.Image via Wikipedia

According to its state fire marshal, thirty West Virginia firefighters have been arrested for arson in the past year ( See http://wowktv.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=68328 ). There are approximately 800 professional and 2200 volunteer firefighters in West Virginia such that one percent of the state’s firefighters have been arrested for intentionally setting fires during this period. ( Less than 0.006 percent of Americans are arrested for arson annually ( See http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/data/table_29.html ). ) It seems that (volunteer and employee) initial screening and ongoing monitoring with respect to criminal records and psychological tendencies could be improved.

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