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  • Out of Control Deputy

    Please review this story.


    Gun Drawn, Sheriff's Deputy Detains OH Fire Captain

    Firehouse.Com News

    Firefighters responding to an accident in Pike Township, Ohio, Nov.23, found they had more than crashed cars and injured people to deal with as they watched Clarke County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Brocious arrest their Captain, Jim Steggeman.

    According to Pike Township Fire Chief Dennis Owens, "The deputy jumped onto the side of the truck as the captain was trying to move it, stuck a gun to his head, and told him that he was under arrest."

    The altercation, still under investigation by the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, apparently began when Brocious ordered Steggeman to move the fire engine. Chief Owens admits that words were exchanged between the two but that Steggeman was trying to move the truck when the deputy took action.

    Steggeman remained detained until Brocious' supervisor arrived and ordered him released. No charges were filed against Steggeman.

    Owens said that Steggeman, "Is really struggling with it, he is really uncomfortable."

    Brocious remains on adminstrative duty while the investigation continues. Clarke County Sheriff Captain Loney said, "Basically the investigation is still open. We hope to have it concluded by next Tuesday."

    "In the aftermath of the investigation we will have to take the appropriate internal action and based on the allegations of the firefighter there might be criminal charges pressed against the deputy," Loney said.

    Chief Owens admits that the department has had quarrels with Brocious before, but that in general their relationship with the Sheriff's Office is one of mutual respect and cooperation. " The general public needs to understand that this is an isolated incident. In my 20 years I have heard of nothing of this magnitude. This is not the norm," he said.

    Loney echoed Owens’ sentiment regarding police and fire interaction, speaking of 27 years of peaceful cooperation.

    About two years ago a similar incident in another part of the state prompted the Ohio State’s Attorney to generate a ruling giving the fire department control of accident and fire scenes until the fire department declares them safe.

    After the police investigation is over, Owens will meet with the County Chief’s Council to discuss what happened and to, hopefully, prevent it in the future.

    He also plans to review how the fire department handled their end of the confrontation and to deal with any changes in procedure as appropriate.

    The Pike Township Fire Department, volunteer with part-time paid staff, serves a rural population of 4,000 in ten sq. miles, seven miles west of Springfield.


    As most of you know, I am a full-time LEO. I am appalled at the actions of this Deputy. In NJ, he would be guilty of Aggravated Assault. He is obviously mentally unbalanced and does not beling working as an LEO.

    I am posting this now because one of you anti-cop types will post it later and try to generalize all LEO's by the actions of one moron. Please do not insult the intelligence of the people on this board by doing that. Especially now.

  • #2

    I agree. The actions on one idiot should reflect on the whole. I live about an 45 mins south west of where this happened and from what I have heard this deputy is a loose cannon. From what what said on news he actually was pressing the gun against the Captain's head. All over an argument about moving a vehicle.


    • #3
      George, who are these anti-cop people you are talking about? If someone is anti-cop, then they must be anti fireman, because we both do a similar job to serve the public and keep people safe.

      So would anyone out there who is anti-cop please stand up?

      That's what I thought.

      I'm anti-stupid-cop. Just like I'm anti-stupid-firemen, anti-stupid-fill-in-the-blank.

      Stay Safe


      • #4
        I have scene plenty of anti-cop comments in the forum. Most of them based on jealousy. FF dont get free food or substantial discounts. Of course that has changed some since 9-11.

        Having spent more than a couple of years as a full time LEO I can assure you the jobs are equally difficult with one exception. Cops are always getting crapped on from the speeder, junkie, prostitutes, and all the other turds.

        FF's on the other hand are genrally well treated. The diffrences in attiude from the public tend to create a less than positive attitude from the police hence the occasional bad attitude....

        Having said all that this cop with the gun has got to go....


        • #5
          There are many times we make up jokes about the cops...that they always park in front of the hydrant, There isn't a donut shop they do not like, that they are blue canaries at hazmat incidents, etc. I also know that our friends in law enforcement have their share of jokes about us. All in all, we work well together.
          One "loose as a goose" Deputy Sheriff should not taint the relationship we have between each organization. We have our own "whackos" and I'm sure that the law enforcement community does not paint us all with the same broad brush as the "whackos"!
          ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
          Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY


          • #6
            Most of us have worked emergency scenes with LEO's and have developed a mutual respect and friendship. This incident is isolated and by no means reflects the true heart of law enforcement personnel.
            Next time we're working a scene with Leo's, let's give them a pat on the back and see if there's anything we can do to make their thankless jobs easier.
            Remember the Brothers!
            See you on the big one!<br />Billy Reiter 1st Lieutenant/Chaplain available 24 7


            • #7
              If you'd like to read some anti-cop postings, go look at the "Firearms in the Firehouse" thread on the Volunteer board. You'll also see a number of posts based on the jealousy.

              pa volunteer, you're standing up! Just what i thought.


              • #8
                If it is true that the officer held the gun the to Capt's head. WoW What was going on in his bean. Having once been on the receving end of a gun threat there is nothing to get your attention like looking down the barrel of a loaded weapon with a wingnut on the trigger end. this guy should be counting change in the meters not carrying a weapon. On the other side can you imagine if another FF was armed.... Don't forget who the real enemey is. On a lighter note I had an officer who wouldn't move his cruiser at a senior's complex fire so we parked the last tanker in the relay with the muffler broad side to his door 5 min. lots of peddle pumpin and he moved
                Summerville Vol Fire Dept
                Pride In Service !


                • #9
                  Well, looks like things are getting back to normal:the firemen hate the cop's and the cops hate the firemen.
                  I do agree with the captian because I know how cops can be. It always seems like the badge and authority goes to their head.


                  • #10
                    The attached article is from the local paper. Some key points:
                    1. The sheriff's department appears to be handling this very well: they're investigating quickly, and the deputy in question is off the road.
                    2. The deputy in question is also a firefighter.
                    3. None of this explains his actions.

                    I think all of this drives home the point that the VAST majority of public safety personnel: police, fire, EMS, and the volunteer, part-time, and career personnel of each role do a fine job. Unfortunately, there are bad apples in each that make that group look bad. We need to be smart enough to not consider the bad apples as representative of the group.

                    The article:

                    Deputy allegedly aimed gun at fireman
                    By SAMANTHA SOMMER, News-Sun Staff Writer

                    A Clark County sheriff's deputy reportedly pointed his gun at the head of a Pike Township firefighter during a confrontation at an accident scene Friday night.

                    The firefighter, Capt. Jim Steggemann, filed an allegation of employee misconduct against Deputy Matt Brocious with the sheriff's office Friday night.

                    The sheriff's office is investigating Brocious' actions at the scene of the single-car accident in the 8500 block of Detrick-Jordan Pike.

                    Reports filed at the sheriff?s office give the following account of the confrontation:

                    Steggemann, 45, was in full firefighter?s garb and drove a fire engine to the accident scene. Brocious, 27, asked Steggemann to move the truck out of the accident scene.

                    Steggemann began to set up a portable generator for lights, and Brocious again ordered the truck moved.

                    Steggemann complied and used an expletive directed toward Brocious.

                    The deputy jumped onto the fire engine while it was in motion, pointed his service pistol at Steggemann's head and told the firefighter he was under arrest for obstructing an accident scene.

                    Brocious handcuffed Steggemann and put him in the back of a sheriff?s cruiser.

                    Steggemann was not charged with any offense, Pike Township Fire Chief Dennis Owens said. He was released at the accident scene.

                    Owens said he has seen tensions rise at accident scenes before and talked to Brocious' supervisor there.

                    Investigating deputies interviewed witnesses at the scene and took Brocious' gun and three ammunition magazines.

                    Neither Brocious nor Steggemann returned telephone calls Monday afternoon.

                    The incident left Steggemann in disbelief, Owens said.

                    "He knows what his job is, and he was trying to perform it," Owens said.

                    Brocious was placed on administrative leave Saturday and Sunday, which does not affect his wages.

                    He has returned to work, Sheriff Gene Kelly said, but has been reassigned to administrative duties and is not wearing a uniform or carrying a weapon.

                    Sheriff?s Lt. Dave Rapp and Detective Phil Sanders are conducting the internal investigation, which should be completed by the end of this week or early next week, Kelly said. The matter will go to a departmental hearing next and then to Kelly for a final decision.

                    Brocious received an oral reprimand in March 2000 for failing to show up for an overtime shift. He also received three written reprimands ? one in September for failing to appear for a case in Juvenile Court, one in January for failing to respond to dispatchers, and another in September 2000 for giving an offensive letter to an employee at a clinic.

                    In May, he was suspended without pay for an eight-hour shift for unsatisfactory performance of duty for failing to turn in a daily run sheet, for failing to fill out an incident report and for using poor grammar on a report, personnel records show.{M6

                    The personnel file contains praise for Brocious as well, including two letters from residents complimenting him.

                    "The deputy was professional and reassuring," Rita Valley wrote in April 2000 about Brocious? investigation of a broken-down car near her home.

                    The sheriff's office hired Brocious in February 1997. He first worked as a dispatcher, then as a deputy in the Clark County Jail starting in August 1998. He began road patrol in January 2000.

                    He also serves as a volunteer firefighter for Bethel Township.

                    When he applied for the transfer to the jail, he wrote about his desire to be a deputy. His father, Dean Brocious, served as a sheriff's detective in the 1970s and 1980s.

                    "Becoming a deputy has been a goal of mine since I was very young and watched my father go to work in uniform. I have chosen law enforcement not only as a career but as a way of life," he wrote.
                    Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.


                    • #11
                      George, wow, okay, so maybe there are some anti cop firemen out there. They are truly a disgrace to the fire service. Cops help us, we help the cops. Being against them is like being against our own. I hope the mutual respect (which is the majority of the situations) will prevail. Just the same, I'm glad we can treat each other with mutual respect, George.

                      Stay Safe - as a cop and a fireman


                      • #12
                        [quote]Originally posted by 65712:
                        Well, looks like things are getting back to normal:the firemen hate the cop's and the cops hate the firemen.
                        I do agree with the captian because I know how cops can be. It always seems like the badge and authority goes to their head.

                        Do tell, 65712, how can cops be?

                        It ALWAYS goes to their heads? Every cop? Chalk one up on the anti-cop side.


                        • #13
                          Okay George, gese, I'm sorry, I admitted that I guess there are some out there! You don't have to rub it in!!! Just kiddin' man.

                          This guy (65712) is a whacko and a disgrace to the fire service.

                          Stay Safe


                          • #14
                            Wow 65712, that was both helpful AND constructive.

                            What an ASSet.

                            Thanks for showing up. Drive home safely.
                            09-11-01:Never Forget


                            • #15

                              All firefighters are not anti-cop just as all cops are not anti-firefighter. There are a few on both sides that make life difficult for us all. There are some cops that I don't choose to associate with just as there some firefighters that I'd rather not be around. All groups have their bad apples. We need to identify stupid people for what they are and quit trying to tie it to a profession, a uniform, or any other group.

                              You post frequently on the subject of firefighter arson. I agree with you that the problem is serious and is a challenge for the fire service to deal with. The opinion of most firefighters that I have spoken to is that the perpetrator better hope and pray that the cops catch them before the firefighters do.

                              Problems are everywhere. Looks like this time the cops are getting some bad press because of one bad guy in their ranks. Soon it will be someone elses turn. In the mean time, It looks like this guy will be off the streets for a while. Chalk one up for the good guys, no matter what uniform they wear!

                              Stay Safe



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