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Must see dash-cam video: Lawsuit after WI police officer chases volunteer firefighter responding to firehouse. FF claims excessive force when gun is pointed at him during traffic stop.

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Brooklyn, Wisconsin volunteer firefighter Dan Dean has filed a $50,000 lawsuit against the Village of Oregon claiming excessive force after a police officer held a gun to Dean’s head during a traffic stop as Dean responded to the firehouse for a call.

Doug Erickson, Wisonsin State Journal:

Brooklyn volunteer firefighter Dan Dean, 37, alleges Oregon police officer Ted Gilbertson overreacted when Gilbertson drew his gun and held it near Dean’s head during a June traffic stop in the Brooklyn Fire Station parking lot.

Dean had just sped to the station in his private vehicle after being paged. Gilbertson had begun pursuing him several miles out, apparently in response to an earlier call elsewhere in the county of a motorist possibly impersonating a police officer. Both Dean and Gilbertson were using lights and sirens.

The department’s internal investigation cleared officer Gilbertson of any wrongdoing and accused Dean of recklessly responding to a non-emergency.

Dean was cited for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle. He is contesting the ticket.

The call ended up being a refrigerator fire.

Click here to read the entire article


Comments - Add Yours

  • Steve

    I didnt see a gun to his head…I DID see a cop taking due care after a high speed pursuit….and I hardly ever side with the police. The office seemed perfectly composed during would could have been a high adrenalin situation that ended poorly. Looks to me like the Vollie is in trouble!

    • Anonymous

      I do beleive you are correct sir. Nothing the officer did was wrong.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you. This video should be shown in class to soon-to-be police officers on how to deal with situations. This guy is an idiot. And he drives like one too. No way was the due regard for public safety. 90+mph is not due regad for public safety.

  • dadman

    Speeding; rolling stops; no due regard.
    What’s wrong wih driving sanely to the station?

  • Cappy


  • Tom Galvaston

    Cop did NOTHING wrong here. He thought he was chasing a failure to yield & a PD impersonator. As soon as he realized a mistake may have been made he holstered his weapon. The title is VERY misleading.

    • dave statter

      There was an error in the headline made by me Tom. I corrected. The info should have been attributed as claims made by the firefighter as part of his lawsuit.

  • LTMP

    Sorry but this is beyond belief… This fine responder is driving well beyond the legal limits, never yields to an emergency vehicle, and then files suit when the officer executes a high risk stop… The cop did nothing wrong…. And they let this clown drive a firetruck??? Sorry, suspend him from the department indefinately!

  • Rescue5Squad

    The police officer had a call for a similiar vehicle impersonating a police officer. This officer was doing his job, and didnt know this guy was “responding” from home. No fault there…..

    I do find it troubling that the officer hit over 100 mph twice to catch up to the “home responder”. If someone would have pulled out in front of the police officer he would have destroyed them. Not to “safe” in my opinion!

  • Capt

    Whats he got a lawsuit for? I think the cop did the right thing. He was very polite to him once he gained control of the situation. The cop had no idea who he was and once he did then he “got him on his way”.

  • Robert Kramer

    I can see both sides. I think the wrong doing came in wthe police department decided to charge him with responding to a “non-emergency”.

  • R.J.Castaldi Sr

    Did anyone of you notice the nozzle nut was “responding” at speeds of 100 MPH? As both a former LEO and a former Vol. FF, I not only would have cited him, I probably would have taken him behind the station, thumped his ass and then had hium kicked out! The job is to PROTECT the citizens, not endanger everyone in your damned way!

    • Robert Kramer

      Wrong. That is how fast the police officer was going to catch up to him. Once he did, I didn’t see any speeds over 50 mph.

      As stated earlier, I can uderstand bot points of view on the scene. I don’t understand charging him after the fact for responding to a non-emergency. Was every other volunteer cited? How about the responding engine?

  • Anonymous

    Dan Dean is an idiot. He clearly got off easy and now he wants to sue. He drove like a moron and now has to pay the price. I see NOTHING wrong with the officer’s actions. I was completely expecting a cop who went way beyond what he should have but this officer was cautious (doing his job) and courteous with the FF.

    And another thing, these volunteers who go out and buy “police cars” and deck them out with lights and sirens are trying to look like a cop. Bottom line. They might not be trying to act like a cop but they bought the car they bought for a reason.

    • Robert Kramer

      What part of his car looked like the police? I think it was a Saturn. Real impersonation there in the grocery getter.

      • Taylor

        Saturn? It’s a black Dodge Charger, fitted with lights, sirens, and antennas, which could be easily confused as a LEO by members of the public.

      • Anonymous

        Did you either watch or listen to the video at all???

        • Taylor

          Sure did. What did me pointing out what the vehicle was have to do with watching/not watching the video?

  • Northern Chief

    Police Officer acting accordingly and was very professional. The Police Officer has a vehicle matching the description of this car that was impersonating a police officer. How does the Police Officer know who it is and what this person was doing. The firefighter in his personal vehicle should have yielded to the emergency vehicle (police car) not matter what. The volunteer EMS / Firefighter that acts this way; only thinks that they are better then the law. I believe the law states that the lights (and sirens) are courtesy and only ask for the right of way…Good job to the Police Officer for doing his job as he was trained, maintaining professionalism and being polite!

    • HSCFire5

      It depends on the state, here teh law states that after the page and private vehilce displaying the neame of the agency the responder is affiliated with becomes an “Authorized Emergency Vehicle.” This puts us on the same standing as the officers, as well ambulances and fire vehicles we are responding to staff. Any “AEV” displaying a red flashing light visible 500 feet to the front and equiped with a siren or horn audible 500 feet to the front may disregard posted speed limits, stop and yeild signs and red lights as well as one way streets, do not enter and any any parking sign (no parking, disabled parking etc.) This is valid so long as the responder drives with due regard for PUBLIC safety, I saw nothing in this video that violated due regard, the roads were nearly empty, the sign he rolled through had no oncomming traffic.

  • Scooter

    DROP THE LAW SUIT YOU IDIOT! You were driving close to 100MPH and the cop was doing his job! What if you would have crashed into somebody? Shut up you were in the wrong! Strike Da Box! K

    • Robert Kramer

      No, he wasn’t.

    • Addingtotheabove

      What if the cop, who was the one actually doing the 100mph, would have crashed into somebody?

  • No Name

    I see why the officer reacted the way he did. Felony stops justify this. The officer didn’t know what to expect. I don’t know how the rules are in Oregon but where I come from we aren’t allowed lights, and aren’t allowed to break traffic laws. I can say i would have pulled over to see if he was going to pass, maybe they were going to the same call. At the end of the day, they have a job to do as do we. I don’t see where it went wrong. If anything I think the officer was pretty understanding and polite.

    • dave statter

      I have to agree. The police officer was extremely professional in his interactions. Based on the fact there was a lawsuit, I expected something really bad in the interaction and I sure didn’t see it.

  • Johnny Awesome

    Good job to the Police Officer for doing his job as he was trained, maintaining professionalism and being polite!

    Really, 101 MPH for a traffic stop. Guess thats how small town 9,000 people Wisconsin rolls. That officer would not have a job.

    And as for the volunteer, my area has done a study that proves lights on POV do not make response times any better, so after Jan, 1st. they are all off POV’s..

  • Robert Kramer

    I didn’t see any bad driving on eithers part.

  • He

    This Officer did absolutely nothing wrong. Mr I want to pretend to be a policeman in my pretend police car got just what he deserved. They should have used the Stop Sticks. I find it VERY HARD TO BELIEVE Mr I want to pretend to be a policeman wasn’t monitoring the local PD channels, that’s how I get the initial on scene report 99% of the time.

  • Herman Glick

    Kudos to the officer, very professional. Vollie might consider an EVOC class and reevaluate his law suit. Not the smartest of manuevers I’ve seen.

  • dadman

    I’m with R.J.Castaldi Sr: ass thumping.

  • Phil Wagner

    The police officer was correct in his actions, very professional. If there was any potential issue, it would have been with the speed of both vehicles. Based on the circumstances and the previous impersonation activity, the officer was acting within acceptable parameters. In regards to the comments about Dean not doing over 50 mph, it was pretty obvious that the officer was not closing in on the other vehicle as would have been the case if it was 100 & 50. No gun to the head. Throw out the suit, charge Dean with reckless.

  • hydro engineer

    Officer should have just shot him in the leg! Evading police,excessive speed, exiting car abruptly when stopped!! He should be locked up at least.!

  • RJ(in florida)

    Dave, This appeaers to be one of those 50-50 calls but the cop had a legitimate reason and so did the vollie

    you know from my past posts on subjects like this that i am a pro vollie guy but a lawsuit on this is (and should be) tossed out because the cop was just doing his job

    • dave statter

      As I mentioned earlier, if the lawsuit is based on that video I don’t imagine it will do much to sway a jury or a judge to agree with the firefighter.

  • 8truck

    I see nothing wrong with the LEO’s action. I don’t understand the reason for the lawsuit. The LEO explained the situation which should have been clearly understood by the firefighter. The firefighter has very little chance of winning the lawsuit.

    We can’t judge the firefighter’s speed based off of the LEO’s. Also from my understanding a vehicle that has both red lights and siren is an emergency vehicle. So I don’t know exactly how failure to yield would have held up.

    • Jake

      Wisconsin law does not consider a POV to be an emergency vehicle. In this situation the POV driving by the FF should have been responding in a NON emergency mode and no lights and sirens. Therefore, he should have yielded to the police car. A POV should never try to out run any emergency vehicle whether it is an ambulance or cop car. They should yield and allow them to take the lead. Also, since this was an NON emergency response, the officer has reason to be suspicious of a POV driving reckless while tricked out with a couple of emergency lights. Whackers can be a nuisance and endanger the public as well as other responders.

  • http://msn RetiredInSC

    Mr. Dean, just drope the lay suit. There was not a thing that the officer did wrong. You were in the wrong and should be getting a stack of tickets for how you were driving. Not that you have a snowball in hell to win this law suit, waisting the courts time, you need to keep a good working relationship with fire and police.Maybe the officer may not be so nice to you or a other vol. driver. You are not doing anyone good if you crash not be able to respone on the call that you were going to the St. for. JUST LET IT BE MR.DEAN

  • Sharppointy1

    I have to chime in with the chorus. I think the police officer handled this dangerous situation very professionally. He was calm and polite when so many others would have been screaming for the volunteer to hit the deck.
    I hope this FF sees the light and drops the suit. It’s ridiculous what people sue over nowadays.

  • Bob Upson

    If the officer made any mistake it was that he didn’t cuff and stuff the (hopefully “former”) volunteer on felony evading, excessive speed, and just plain idiocy. The fact that that the guy now has the unmitigated gall to file suit is unbelievable…

  • DJG

    I just have one question, wtf is this guy a volunteer if it takes ±10 minutes to get to the station??? And, wtf is everyone else if there was a call he was responding to?

  • wolcry

    We all like to sit back and say they should of done this or that, because it’s so easy to do..i’m sure the firefighter was thinking someone could be dying, I have to get there no matter what..The police officer I know was thinking..I’m going to catch this guy, the next time he pulls someone over impersonating a police officer, he might hurt them or rape them..The officer did a great job, actually I feel was too nice..Actually what I feel is two guys trying to do their job to the best of their abilities, the only one I feel at fault here is the firefighter, he put the officer in that position..

  • Chief 62

    From a risk versus benefit approach here one has to wonder what if anything was accomplished by any of this. It does appear there was quite a lengthy distance covered by this volunteer and it did indicate the response commenced in the PD’s area in the first place. From a Chief’s perspective having viewed the star witness, the dash cam in the patrol vehicle is the telling tale. Sorry folks the PD win this one hands down, if you listen the officer advises every move, speed, changes etc. while enroute and requests assistance from adjoining agencies (which for some reason never showup until the parking lot) but it is a big state.

    Now, some professional courtesies have been trampled and for what. If this was one of my members we would be having a discussion in private about proper procedure and working together, not against one another, is the end goal. Were the speeds justified in either vehicle, it did appear to be light traffic and late at night but in the end whats the risk versus benefit and the end gain to be accomplished. Here in Manitoba we have the “privelege” of emergency lights, no sirens (yet)and from time to time have had similiar circumstances occur, however strive to have them better handled by having the Chief Officers police their own members and maintaining a good working relationship with the RCMP officers assigned in the response areas. The Provincial Fire Chiefs organization regularly meets with OIC Traffic Services to deal with any issues arising from either side. Its a two way street as sometimes the odd overzealous member on their side causes grief, but its taken care of at that level. I’ll leave this commentary with this thought, if over the course of several miles a police vehicle is following you lights and sirens activated do not always assume they are on the same call. This officer recorded that he could not see the plate and it did indeed have some EMS identifier on it once he got close enough to it. He was astute enough to put it all together once the said volunteer reached a marked station house and adjusted what could have ended differently as he approached the vehicle. I felt both the verbal approach by PD and comeback by the volunteer were appropriate and am truly surprised to see it end the way it has. Lots of work for both agencies in meeting common ground and preventing future embarassment for both departments, and lets not forget we work together!!Play Nice, be respectful of each other at all times.

  • http://none Engine 5er

    Drop the lawsuit, BUT . . . this looks like a small town. Are you telling me that the cop didn’t know, at some point, that the guy was responding to the EMS Station? Were Cops so busy that night that they weren’t dispatched or notified of a Delta priority call in the area? The law suit from the EMT is stupid but,holy crap Barney, keep the bullet in your the front pocket.

    • Sheri

      If someone is out there impersonating an officer and there is someone speeding away from you and not pulling over that is suspicous activity and the officer handled it just right when someone is impersonating an officer you have no idea whether they have stolen plates either.

  • backstep lineman

    Cop was in the right, this vollie was wrong. The cop had no idea what was goin on I would have ordered him to the ground and put him in cuffs no due regard for the law.

  • Sheri

    The state states 10 mph over the speed limit is acceptable not doing 50, 70, and 90MPH the police officer did not use excessive force he had his gun pulled due to the previous report of a suspect impersonating a police office he was polite to the FF and explained the circumstances for the gun being drawn the police office did not do anything wrong. The FF is looking for some fast cash so much so he is fracturing his FD working relationship with the Police Department. The FF deserved a ticket for his excessive speed!!!

    • Unknown

      Do you happen to know the posted speed limits in the rural area he was driving? I’m sure it isn’t 30 mph! My guess would be 40, so his 50mph is justified. When he reached the “neighborhood”, where we can assume 25/30mph posted speed limits, he wasn’t driving erratic or at excessive speeds at all.

  • Former Chief

    OK, first, hindsight is 20/20. After everyone calms down, I think both persons involved would probably agree the situation could have been handled differently. The Firefighter should have pulled over for the Police Officer, but he thought they were responding to the same call. You just have to take that at face value. And the Police Officer thought he was possibly pursueing a Police impersonator. He probably should have given that a second thought when he saw the car had EMS plates and that the car pulled into a Fire/EMS station. But, whatever, at the time, he was following his training and did what he thought he had to do. I agree with someone who posted about dispatch not connecting the dots here. I guess Communications don’t always communicate. Here’s another thought though, what if the Firefighter pulled over before he got to the station? Would the Police Officer have been even more suspicious on a dark stretch of roadway? And the Firefighter got out of the car holding what appeared to be a portable radio. Could that have been mistaken for a gun? In any event, drop the lawsuit, drop the ticket, I think both sides are just trying to justify their actions. Have all parties and their leadership sit down over a cup of coffee and work things out and try to make sure a similar situation doesn’t happen again. Doesn’t anyone just talk things out anymore.

    • mark

      Amen, FC.

      Chalk the whole thing up to a learning experience. Handle it internally and move on.

  • craig cook

    a fire fighter enven with lights and siren are still not allowed to break traffic laws.period

    • mark

      You need to look into the laws of many states, because your statement is flat out WRONG. At least in MI.

      Someone mentioned it already: firemen can violate just about any and all traffic laws, as long as they are acting reasonably and with due regard.

      Because your statement means we can’t close a street; cross the center line; go 1 MPH over the speed limit; proceed safely through a red light after stopping; proceed the wrong way up a one-way street or go against traffic on a limited access highway. Your blanket statement is why blanket statements shouldn’t be made. Or, never say never.

  • Anonymous

    Not worth a law suit.

    In my old days of responding from home in a POV 19 years ago, if PD came up behind me I presumed they were going to the same call and wanted to drive faster than I was, so you pull over and let them pass. If they don’t pass you, then you just got pulled over – pretty simple!

    Wouldn’t have hurt if the cop had asked his dispatcher, “any active fire or EMS calls right now?”

  • Alan

    Looks like a straight forward felony traffic stop to me. The officer, responding to a report of someone in a black car possibly impersonating an officer sees a black car with activated lights and siren travelling at high speeds and gives chase. the fact that it went on for miles at high speeds (the top speed on the dash dam readout was 100 mph.) absolutely no reason for the FF to be travelling that fast. Once he realized that the officer was in fact attempting to stop him, he should have stopped to find out what the deal was. Just because you have permission to have emergency lights does not make you an emergency vehicle unless it is permitted by the state.
    The officer, IMO, was fully justified in conducting a felony traffic stop and drawing his weapon for his own protection. Once he determined there was no threat, he immedietly holsters his weapon. Where is the harm? The gun was not to his head, it was at a safe distance. Guess that’s why the police dept cleared the officer and cited the FF. Use common sense when you activate the lights or don’t use them!!!

  • DueRegardDriver

    Apparently some of you don’t understand that when a POV is decked out with lights and a siren it is an Emergency Vehicle per the DEPT or Company and is usually done per the state or local guidelines of use.. The person was responding to a call like many chiefs and volunteers do everyday and was using said devices and went by a police officer who all he had to do was check with dispatch if a call was occurring and they could cross check the vehicles listed and see if he was an authorized user/ vehicle and this could have been avoided. Also if your a LEO it is probably a good idea to get associated with your local firefighters, EMS, and rescue personnel so you know the vehicles that you will see responding. I am sorry but this entire incident could have been avoided and prevented by using common sense on both sides.

  • Ckemtp – Life Under the Lights

    Hello from Wisconsin!

    I thought that I would offer some clarity here regarding our state’s laws: – is WI state statute regarding authorized emergency vehicles. In the state of WI, a volunteer firefighter and/or EMS person may respond with red lights and sirens and have the full privileges granted to all authorized emergency vehicles when responding to an emergency. Use of the lights are further dictated by departmental response policies.

    – While the lawsuit is unfortunate, I see this as a misunderstanding on both sides. The police officer handled himself very well. I see nothing wrong with what he did. I also do not see anything wrong with what the volunteer firefighter did. There is not enough evidence on the video to say that he was driving excessively. In fact, when he was in the village limits he slowed down considerably.

    – As the driver of an Authorized Emergency Vehicle responding in the most direct route to the station during a bona-fide emergency, the volunteer was under no legal obligation to yield to the officer. He exercised that legal right. However, how would the police officer know that the person he was looking for wouldn’t simply drive to a fire station in order to evade capture? Both were in the right, it was just a tough situation.

    – I feel that the lawsuit is excessive. The volunteer should not have brought it. At best this should have been a meeting between the two departments. However… should this volunteer feel he was not being supported by his fire department and that he was being railroaded by some sort of internal politics… well then perhaps I can understand the lawsuit as a kind of “Let’s clear my name” sort of thing. The volunteer did *say* that he would drop the monetary compensation if the police department simply apologized. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. Then again, why should the police department apologize when they didn’t really do anything wrong?

    At worst this case illustrates that there must be more clarification of WI law and procedures to prevent these kinds of things. Nobody’s really wrong here. If the courts do end up deciding this, well then hopefully at least some good case law will come out of it

  • Jay

    I agree with most here nothing wrong on the LEO side and both handled the stop professionally. As for the gun to the head, I think that’s drastic! I’m sure when the FF stepped out of his vehicle he saw a gun drawn but in this case was warranted.

    As for the speed, you can’t determine FF actual speed by the LEO until he catches up. The LEO doing 100 mph doesn’t mean the FF was, it just means he was to catch up. Once he caught up though speeds were a little over the 10+ mph allowed by a lot of departments. But we don’t know his departments policy. 50 mph in a 35, minimal traffic and what I saw on the video I would say he was responding with due regard to traffic.

    I would disagree with the LEO on the ticket and the FF on the lawsuit. LEO shouldn’t have cited and FF shouldn’t blow this out of portion with a lawsuit.

  • Brian Haggerty

    OK. I’m a veteran cop. My son is a volunteer FF. Most of my department has no problem with FF. A few idiots cause crap, but that’s on both departments. We all work together to serve the public, end of story. That said, the cop was following SOP. The FF failed some basic rules. Speeds, wrong baby, way to much unless there was a big fire and maydays were going out. And let me say that I stop many FF off duty for traffic and they all get a pass as public safety. You’re on the job, Police or fire, as long as you’re not doing something really criminal, have a nice day, professional courtesy. Not stopping for a marked Police vehicle, wrong. On duty vehicles trumps POV anytime. The FF having a Police type POV. Who cares. If he had immediately pulled over, cop would have not been thinking felony stop. An immediate stop, a quick show of the FF ID and off he goes to do his job. I watched the on screen speeds. That FF was moving way to fast and he led the officer on a pursuit. End of story. He was wrong. I believe that FF should have lights for POVs to respond when called in. Time means lives. The lights won’t keep you from crashing and possibly taking someone out. How many times do we all have near misses with fully marked cruisers and fire trucks? The excessive force, not a chance, you can shove that whole thing. Felony stop after high speed pursuit. In reality, most cops would have probably arrested him for that stupid stunt. I know most of us blow that 10 mph over rule when on duty for more serious stuff. But, the FF was really out of bounds here. If I was the cop, as long as he stopped and gave his ID, I would let him go with a warning to back down. If the FF presses further, maybe he should be suspended for his excessive driving. He was the one causing the entire mess. And he is the one that risked lives including the cops. Please donate some common sense to the poor FF. He needs some. One idiot can cause a big rift between cops and firemen for no reason other than lack of using your head. There are many great folks on both jobs that would do anything to help the public. This just makes everyone look bad for nada.

  • Scott

    I’m a volunteer in IN. Our rules are, you can run blue lights BUT have to abide by all traffic laws including speed limits, stop signs and stoplights. If yor’re going to go faster, then don’t run your lights and don’t say anything about being on a run when you’re stopped.

    In this case, the vollie had to be going awfully fast for the cop to take as long as he did to catch up. Once he saw the cop behind him he should have pulled over to let him by.
    Now, my sound isn’t working on my video so only saw actions. I don’t think the cop did anything out of the ordinary and holstered his gun pretty quickly. It didn’t seem bad to me.
    Also, the articles said he (ff) was runing lights/siren also. I didn’t see any lights on that car, at least in the back.

    I would put the blame on the ff and he is lucky he didn’t get a speeding ticket. I also read the newspaper article and it said the fire chief was siding w/ his guy. That’s a mistake.
    The ff was in the the wrong. No suit warranted.

  • Mike

    As a Police officer and Vol. Firefighter in Ky, I find this incident very unfortunate for both sides. The police officer was well with in his rights to handle the call the way he did. In fact, I would have treated it as a felony stop because you never know what is the true reason this person is running. Especially with a BOlO on the same type of care. It is possible that someone was upset with this guy and called in a fake report or even thought that this guy was impersonating. Either case, the officer was in the right and as long as the Volli was with operating with in state laws he should be fine as well. This is a clear case where the two departments need to get to know each other and create a working relationship to help educate each other on how they operate. There is no difference between police/fire/ems as we all serve the public in our own capacity. Seriously the law suit is BS and these two departments need to get together and work this out. Educating their employees will reduce most of these types of misunderstandings. Just my input though..

  • Anonymous

    Was the police imposter ever caught or did he disappear after this incident.

  • Tree

    I’m leaning to both sides being right. There’s no proof of the firefighter running at excessive speeds (ok, 50 in a 35 – but that’s not earth shattering), and, if the rest of the posts regarding local/state law there are to be believed, he was driving within the law. He was apparently driving with due regard – he even used his turn signals, and displayed caution at traffic devices.

    What he didn’t know was that the cop was looking for the fake cop, and I’d bet that the cop didn’t know that the FF was responding to a call. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the police here ask their dispatcher if so-and-so has a fire call.

    For those who don’t believe that the cop had to be doing what he was to catch the FF – At a closing speed of 30 MPH (cop doing 90, FF doing 60) it would take about two minutes to close a one mile gap. Curiously, from the time the cop turned his lights on (and the FF wasn’t even in sight, from what I could see) until he came in behind him and was doing 55 was… two minutes.

    I agree that the FF’s lawsuit is a bit out there, but the rest of it can be chalked up to a lack of communication.

    I’m wondering if the fire department and police dispatcher centers are even in the same building. If they were, I’d be willing to bet that two dispatchers talking across the room would have solved that whole episode in no time flat. And I’m not even a dispatcher.


    Dave, I swear you are the fire /police departments version of a race baiter. You get all of these guys all worked up. And honestly, I don’t understand how anyone can argue that this knucklehead vollie is in the right. Bottom line is that all laws should be followed with common sense. It’s unfortunate but this type of behavior and lack of common sense runs rampant throughout the volunteer system. With saying that… Don’t you guys think you are very hypocritical? This story has drawn 57 comments. The cop who gripped the girl up by the hair who slapped him brought 60 comments. But the Detriot musclehead who goes MMA on 2 girls get a total of 9 post in 2 separate stories. Point being… Police yourself. Don’t police the police.

    • dave statter

      Wow! I’ve been called a lot of things after 38 years in news and 5 as a blogger, but that’s a new one. I do agree about the lack of comments on the Detroit incident. At least what was reported seemed pretty outrageous.

      Actually, as I suspected after seeing the video, the large majority of those who commented here (and I imagine they are firefighters) don’t think the police officer did anything wrong. I personally was impressed with his interaction upon leaving the car. Gave the impression he is a guy who doesn’t let emotions rule his actions.

      I will know have to add “race baiter” to my resume.


      • Legeros

        Please don’t bait the races.

  • Capt Dick

    I find myself pondering the age old question…. Which is worse a cop or a vollie? Both think they are above the law and both get stimulation through lights and sirens. Dangerous combo there. Glad someone’s family wasn’t in the path of this rolling cluster!

  • hydro engineer

    I say police officer should shoot him now!!!

  • SC FC (40 yrs)

    SC Chief

    Did the officer contact his comm.dispatcher to find out if there was a fd or ems alarm in progress? Why did the LEO continue to hold the responder after he determined this was not the person he was looking for. A lot of stupid things on both sides of this story.


      Chief (40 yrs – so you must be qualified),

      Did you listen to the video? He’s on the radio the entire time.

      How long was he held? Do you know the answer to that? I don’t think you do. The video shows about 2 1/2 minutes worth of detention and investigation. Was he held any longer? We don’t know. If he held him longer, I’d imagine that he was investigating if this was the vehicle he was looking for, which he has every right to do.

      There’s a lot stupid in your statement.

  • Kevin Hall

    My background: 29 years in public safety
    Firefighter-29yrs, past EMT, 911 Telecommunicator-21 years)

    Point #1: Volunteers driving ANYTHING that is similar to police vehicles are always wondered about. Where is the line drawn as far as imperonating a police officer? (Case in point from my jurisdiction-Black Dodge Charger w/ tinted windows, LED visor lights bth sides, on grill, rear deck- of course all are uncolored until turned on, badge laying in console visible thru windows, video camers just like local LEO uses suction cupped to windshield, some type radio between seats, antennas on trunk…turned out to be a FORMER firefighter- NO LONGER AFFILIATED WITH A DEPARTMENT

    Point # 2: I understand the volunteer thinking maybe the officer IS in fact responding to the same call I am, BUT, when a police vehicle approaches you from behind, yield for him to pass anyway.
    Point # 3: Even considering the previous points, The officer paced him at 70 mph+. A little too fast for a POV…
    Point# 4: The officer didn’t exactly get close to him for way too long to try to clearly indicate to the driver “I WANT YOU TO PULL OVER/YIELD FOR ME TO PASS OR STOP”
    Point # 5: The officer approached the car with caution and tact until he knew what he was faced with and was assured he was safe. No he didn’t ” Put the gun to his head”. I have no problem with that point.

    Lawsuit to me is frivilous

  • medic44

    Dan Dean is an embarrassment to the FF and EMS community. I see nothing the officer did that was excessive.