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  • Security guard who reported fire suspected of starting it

    Security guard who reported fire suspected of starting it

    A nighttime security officer who reported a Dumpster fire Tuesday behind Monticello Middle School is suspected of setting the fire himself, according to a Longview Police report.

    The 21-year-old Metro Security officer, who lives in Yelm, reported the blaze to the Longview Fire Department shortly before 3 a.m. Tuesday. Later that morning, school officials reviewed a video surveillance tape that showed a security officer in a Metro Watch patrol car next to the Dumpster moments before it erupted in flames, the police report said. The heat of the fire blew out the school building windows above it.

    Because it was dark outside, the man's face is not clear in the video, but his boss at Columbia Security Systems and Services identified him, the police report said.

    Police plan to contact the man, who has not been charged with any crime, and question him about Tuesday's fire and four others, the report said. Longview Schools Maintenance Supervisor Bob Pierce told police there had been similar Dumpster fires --- two at Monticello Middle School and two at R.A. Long High School --- over the Fourth of July weekend. The school campuses are next to each other.

    The school district's surveillance camera showed a Metro Watch patrol car park next to the Dumpster at 2:39 a.m.. A man got out, inspected the contents with a flashlight and returned to the car. He sat for a moment, then got out and walked back to the trash bin before returning to sit in the car with the headlights off. Then he got out to check the Dumpster a third time. At 2:43 a.m., he got back in his car and left.

    At 2:44 a.m., the camera recorded smoke rising from the trash bin. A minute later, flames engulfed the Dumpster.

    At 2:47 a.m., the camera taped a Metro Watch patrol car pulling up to the burning Dumpster. Soon, the Longview Fire Department arrived. The security officer filled out a report stating that he discovered the fire while driving around the schools.

    Columbia Security owner Douglas Harvey told police he found his employee's alleged act of arson "quite shocking," according to the police report. The suspect, whom Harvey described as a "superior performer," is engaged in several law enforcement volunteer, reserve and support services and aspires to be a police officer. Harvey is suspending him from work while police investigate, the report said.

    In an e-mail the suspect sent Harvey late Tuesday, he strongly denied any wrongdoing, according to the police report.

    "My record stands for itself, in which I am a decorated and high-achieving individual, and at no time, would partake in anything other than the most legal of activities," wrote the 21-year-old.
    10-8

  • #2
    Fire Bug/Hero Syndrome

    This is an ongoing problem, not just w/ security officers, but also w/ firefighters. Screening can help, but some will still squeak by.
    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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    • #3
      I think I've posted the stiry somewhere else on this forum. I've dealt with an Officer who tried to save his job by putting out 2 washroom fires that he is very strong suspected of starting.
      I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
      Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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      • #4
        I've known guards who have called in made up incidents just because they were bored.

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        • #5
          This particular incident has been floating around town pretty heavily since it happened... Dumpster fires have been a BIG problem in this town lately for some reason, and MW is the ONLY patrol company around... Raises a LOT of questions... And it doesn't help that LPD already has a dislike for MW and their practices... This isn't going to help matters any, that's for sure...
          Corbier's Commandos - "Stickin it to the ninjas!"
          Originally posted by ValleyOne
          BANG, next thing you know Bob's your Uncle and this Sgt is seemingly out on his a$$.
          Shoulda called in sick.
          Be safe!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bridgegate
            This particular incident has been floating around town pretty heavily since it happened... Dumpster fires have been a BIG problem in this town lately for some reason, and MW is the ONLY patrol company around... Raises a LOT of questions... And it doesn't help that LPD already has a dislike for MW and their practices... This isn't going to help matters any, that's for sure...
            What are the practices that the LPD dislikes? Is it a company backed culture or individual officers that cause the friction?
            "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

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            • #7
              Both, actually... Bad Officer here, company policy there... You get the drift... Overall they're not a BAD company... Their Portland, OR branch has been highly successful... But it seems like the branch here gets the bottom of the barrel or something...
              Corbier's Commandos - "Stickin it to the ninjas!"
              Originally posted by ValleyOne
              BANG, next thing you know Bob's your Uncle and this Sgt is seemingly out on his a$$.
              Shoulda called in sick.
              Be safe!

              Comment


              • #8
                BTDT in both cases, of the firebug wanting to be a hero, and "the little boy who cried wolf." In both cases, I watched the PD cart their sorry butts away.
                Never make a drummer mad; we beat things for a living!

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