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Introduced Version House Bill 2983 History

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hb2983 intr
H. B. 2983


(By Delegate Marshall)
[Introduced March 10, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Political Subdivisions then the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §8-15-10c, relating to authorizing paid municipal fire departments to investigate suspicious or illegal fires set or existing in or around public rights-of-way or otherwise within a municipality and to gather evidence at scenes of the suspicious or illegal fires.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated
§8-15-10c, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 15. FIRE FIGHTING; FIRE COMPANIES AND DEPARTMENTS; CIVIL SERVICE FOR PAID FIRE DEPARTMENTS.
§8-15-10c. Firefighters authorized to gather evidence and investigate.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary,
a paid fire department is authorized to investigate any suspicious or illegal fire in or around any public right-of-way or otherwise within a municipality, including gathering evidence at the scene, securing the scene, obtaining statements from witnesses and taking all other reasonably necessary measures intended to result in the prosecution of any person or persons criminally responsible for setting, starting or contributing to such a fire: Provided, That a paid fire department acting under the authority of this section shall fully cooperate and coordinate with any municipal, county, state or federal law-enforcement agency that later is assigned responsibility for investigating any such fire, and shall defer to the authority of that agency upon being requested to do so.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to
authorize paid municipal fire departments to investigate suspicious or illegal fires and to gather evidence at scenes of suspicious or illegal fires set or existing in or around public rights-of-way or otherwise within a municipality.

This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

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