The East Devon Watch does not consider this a good thing:
Secretively towards a new kind of emergency service in Devon?
Judge for your self, as reported by BBC Devon:
Firefighters take on new role fighting crime in Devon
A police force has trained firefighters as special constables in an attempt to boost officer numbers in rural areas.
Seven Devon and Somerset firefighters have taken on the community responder roles after two months training with Devon and Cornwall Police. They can now arrest suspects, but must prioritise fighting fires when needed.
Police and fire unions have criticised the scheme as a ploy to “paper over the cracks” saying “firefighters exist to save lives, not to enforce the law”.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, Alison Hernandez, said the new roles would help make “communities in Devon and Cornwall safer”.
“They are a great addition to rural communities and importantly represent extra resource for blue-light services,” she said. “They are not a replacement to full-time sworn police officers, whose ranks we are also adding to with a further 85 being recruited this year, taking our numbers to the highest level since 2012.”