2 FFs suspended in sexual misconduct investigation

Officials would not describe the nature of the allegations but said that it is a serious investigation

The Baltimore Sun

REISTERSTOWN, Md. — Two members of the Baltimore County Fire Department have been suspended without pay amid a police investigation into alleged sexual misconduct at the Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company.

No charges have been filed, and the investigation is expected to take about two more weeks, said Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for the county police and fire departments.

The two men — one a probationary EMT and the other a firefighter/EMT — were suspended Wednesday following the execution of search warrants, she said. Both also volunteered at the Reisterstown station and also were suspended from their duties there, said J.P. Snyder, president of the volunteer company.

A police investigation began in January after a county fire commander heard about allegations of sexual misconduct involving the Reisterstown volunteer company, Armacost said.

Armacost would not describe the nature of the allegations but said "this is a serious investigation."

Volunteer fire companies in the county are independent organizations. They are partly funded by the government.

Mike Day, president of the county firefighters union, said he could not comment on the details of the allegations.

J.P. Snyder, president of the volunteer company, said the organization learned of the investigation Monday and that he had little information about the allegations. The company's members are cooperating with the police investigation and trying to stay focused on their work, he said.

"The conduct of two individuals will not keep the fire company from doing what we do," he said.

Founded in 1913, Reisterstown is an "active, large volunteer company with solid staffing levels," according to a recent report from the countywide volunteer fire association that reviewed the volunteer stations.

Reisterstown has 94 active volunteer firefighters serving a 5-square-mile area with more than 24,000 residents, according to the report.

Copyright 2015 The Baltimore Sun
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