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299F.058 Arson strike force.

Subdivision 1. Arson strike force. A multijurisdictional arson strike force is established to provide expert investigative and prosecutorial assistance to local agencies on request in complex or serious cases involving suspected arson.

Subd. 2. Membership. (a) The arson strike force consists of representatives from the following agencies and organizations:

(1) the division of fire marshal;

(2) the bureau of criminal apprehension;

(3) the office of attorney general;

(4) the Minnesota county attorneys association;

(5) the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms of the United States Treasury Department;

(6) the Minneapolis police and fire arson unit;

(7) the St. Paul police and fire arson unit;

(8) licensed private detectives selected by the state fire marshal or the attorney general or their designees; and

(9) any other arson experts the arson strike force deems appropriate to include.

(b) The arson strike force, as necessary, may consult and work with representatives of property insurance agencies and organizations and any other private organizations that have expertise in arson investigations and prosecutions.

(c) Representatives from the attorney general's office and the county attorneys association who are members of the arson strike force may assist in administering the strike force.

(d) The strike force expires June 30, 2003.

Subd. 3. Investigative duties. (a) The arson strike force shall be available on a statewide basis to assist local public safety agencies in investigating the following types of suspected arson cases:

(1) serial fires;

(2) multijurisdictional fires;

(3) fires causing death or serious injury to a public safety officer;

(4) fires resulting in multiple deaths or injuries; or

(5) fires causing over $1,000,000 in damage.

(b) The arson strike force shall establish a mechanism for informing local public safety agencies that it is available to assist in the investigation of the suspected arson cases described in paragraph (a).

(c) The arson strike force shall, by means of a memorandum of understanding among the involved agencies, develop and implement a protocol for the strike force's activation and operation in local cases of suspected arson.

(d) The arson strike force shall assist the arson training unit established in section 299F.051 in developing and implementing educational programs for public safety personnel on investigating arson cases.

Subd. 4. Prosecution duties. (a) The arson strike force may identify and establish a team of prosecutors with experience in arson cases who will provide advice, on request, to local prosecutors who are prosecuting or preparing to prosecute arson cases. This team shall include prosecutors from the attorney general's office and county prosecutors who are identified and selected by the county attorneys association.

(b) The arson strike force shall assist the arson training unit established in section 299F.051 in developing educational programs and manuals to assist prosecutors in prosecuting arson cases.

HIST: 1997 c 239 art 8 s 20; 1Sp2001 c 8 art 5 s 9