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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2009 Archives > June 2009 > Mayor Brown Announces Continued Increase In Arson Arrests Decrease In Arson

Mayor Brown Announces Continued Increase In Arson Arrests Decrease In Arson Fires

Contact: Peter K. Cutler

With 53 Arson-Related Arrests Through May 2009, City Again Exceeds Total Arson Arrests Made in 2005; Arrests for First Five Months of 2009 are 41% Increase Over Same Period in 2006

Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that city’s strong arson investigation efforts have again resulted in rising level of arrests for arson-related crimes, while the number of arson fires has decreased in the city.

“Through the hard work of our Fire Marshall’s Office, we have been able to lower the number of arsons committed in our city, while at the same time increasing the number of arrests of persons responsible for those arsons,” said Mayor Brown.  “Since taking office, I have upgraded the technology available to the Fire Marshall’s Office personnel, including a new Firefiles software system that’s used in arson fire investigations, a new state-of-the-art fire investigation unit vehicle, an ATF-trained fire accelerant detection K-9 and opened new office for the Fire Marshalls at Elmwood and Virginia. Time and again, the personnel of the Fire Marshall’s Office have demonstrated their expertise in analyzing and investigating suspicious fires and other critical cases occurring in and around the City of Buffalo.”
“The mission of the Buffalo Fire Department is to ensure the highest level of quality fire, EMS and specialized services to the residents of Buffalo,” said Commissioner Lombardo.  “Utilizing various methods, such as new computer software programs and detection canines, has only helped us to increase the number of arsons we are able to solve and arrests we are able to make.”

In November 2007, the Fire Marshall’s Office acquired a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Vehicle, which was purchased with federal Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) funds. The new CBRNE specialized vehicle is used by the Fire Investigation Unit in the processing and investigation of fire and explosion scenes (involving fire fatalities), suspicious fire related injuries, weapons of mass destruction, post blast investigations and other critical cases occurring in and around the City of Buffalo.

City arson/arson arrests statistics: 2005 556 arsons, 51 arrests; 2006 480 arsons, 72 arrests; 2007 435 arsons, 121 arrests; 2008 325 arsons, 128 arrests; 2009 (through May) 119 arsons, 53 arrests.

The Buffalo Fire Department’s Fire Marshall’s Office personnel have provided mutual aid services in Cheektowaga, Tonawanda, Amherst (Erie County) and North Tonawanda in Niagara County.