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Wis. Cop Pulls Gun on Speeding Firefighter

November 05, 2012  | 

Screenshot via Wisconsin State Journal.
Screenshot via Wisconsin State Journal.

Two adjacent public-safety departments in Dane County are at odds after a firefighter says he was subjected to excessive force by a police officer from a nearby village while trying to respond to a fire call.

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.

Dean has filed a $50,000 claim against the village of Oregon. The Oregon Police Department earlier dismissed his formal complaint.

Read the full Wisconsin State Journal story.

Tags: Vehicle Pursuits, Firefighters, Oregon (Wis.) PD


Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Fed Cop @ 11/6/2012 6:17 AM

You have a report of someone impersonating a cop, you see a POV with lights and siren, you pull in behind, light it up, and it doesn't comply, it all adds up to a hot stop until you find out what's up. Law 101, totality of the circumstances. 1) fake cop report + 2) POV running Code 3 +3) failure to comply = officer safety hot stop.

Hoshi @ 11/6/2012 6:46 PM

I'm a volunteer fire fighter in rural Texas. My Jeep Wrangler has red lights and siren. I have introduced it to local law enforcement to avoid just such a situation. Everyone out here knows Old Jade. (retired California cop)

Robert @ 11/7/2012 6:30 AM

In what world would an officer be responding to the fire department with light and sirens, for a fire? Given the totality of circumstances, the officer acted accordingly. This firefighter simply doesn't want to be told he was wrong and will sue if he doesn't get an appology? There definately more to this story.

Juan 10-13 @ 11/7/2012 8:11 AM

Robert.....we were always dispatched to every fire and medical assist calls simultaneously with the Fire Dept. We always arrived before the F.D. to render immediate medical aid,traffic and crowd control. That was S.O.P. I feel this really should be a common practice across the board.

Jim @ 11/7/2012 4:55 PM

After watching the entire video, the Police Officer acted completely appropriately given the facts and circumstances. He appropriately de-escalated his display of force once he found out what had really occurred, and he went beyond what is required professionally to explain in detail to the Fire Fighter the entire situation. I agree, the Fire Fighter got embarrassed and is looking for a few bucks. My 2 cents.

Jeff @ 11/7/2012 6:54 PM

Kudos to the Police Officer for showing restraint. Shame on the Fire Chief for protecting a member that clearly is wrong, obnoxious and putting the Fire Department in the spot light.

Mike @ 5/12/2013 7:31 PM

Holding a firearm to the head of an unarmed man is never either appropriate or excusable. The low ready or retention positions would have allowed the officer with a drawn weapon to bring his firepower to bear just as quickly and with an equal degree of safety. Moreover, aiming a firearm at one's head demonstrates the intention to deliver a "kill shot," not "stop the threat." The firefighter, on the other hand, has the right-of-way when running code but is still obligated to stop immediately when signaled by the police to do so. Both are in the wrong but pointing a gun at an unarmed man's HEAD is inexcusable.

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