TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Taking an oath Friday means Vigo County officially has new arson investigators.
These men now carry the title of Special Deputy Sheriff.
This allows them to investigate and arrest people connected to arson cases.
It’s a tool Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing says will be beneficial to the community.
“What it means is it gives us extra hands on deck if you will to help law enforcement in investigating arsons,” Ewing said. “Obviously they have the expertise and training and the knowledge to identify the point and origin and cause of the fire.”
Arson Investigator Norm Loudermilk says they saw the need for arson investigation all the way back in 2008.
Loudermilk says there are a lot of arsons that happen in this community.
And this new team will help the fire department dig deeper when they happen.
“Arson investigation is not just some easy case you can work,” Loudermilk said. “It takes a lot of time, there’s a lot of leg work, and so you’re constantly being pulled in different directions. And so hopefully what this will do, and because of the fact that are arsons that are unsolved in our area, is we’ll get more people on those focusing on them right away so they can run down those leads and hopefully bring resolve to those cases.”
As for the newly appointed special deputies, they’ve put in the training to investigate arsons.
New Arson Investigator William Roberts says they’re all ready to get to work.
“It’s a great feeling,” Roberts said. “It’s a good feeling to help out the community and help out the fire department and be able to assist in these investigations.”
Sheriff Ewing says many communities around the state deputize people for the purpose of investigating arsons.
Those deputized Friday are William Roberts, Matthew Holbert, Joshua Cottrell and Fire Chief Jeff Fisher.