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Firefighter becomes cop to help combat arson problem

James Trevino joined the Toledo Police Academy to become a fire investigator in an effort to help his former colleagues

By Police1 Staff

TOLEDO, Ohio — A firefighter switched gears and joined the police academy in an effort to help change Toledo’s reputation as one of the cities with the most arson incidents.

WTOL reported that former Toledo Fire Department firefighter James Trevino was motivated to join the police department after seeing the high volume of arson fires firsthand. He eventually decided he wanted to do something more to help protect his former colleagues.

“The comradery you live with people for a third of your life and they become family,” Trevino said. “They are dangerous, especially when you get people cutting holes in the floors so that the fire is being fed with oxygen.”

Trevino joined the police academy with the goal of helping to fight the arson epidemic in Toledo by becoming a fire investigator, but he said his instructors never let him live down his past.

“In the academy, the instructors would give it to me and I couldn’t do anything about it,” Trevino said.

Trevino is now one of three firefighters of the Toledo Fire Investigation unit. Joined by two police officers, the team combines their skills to close arson cases.

“They have things they are good at, we have things we are good at. And it’s linking those things together to make the unit stronger,” Trevino said.