Crime - Sacto 911

‘Mystified’ Sacramento fire chief hopes to rebuild public trust after firefighter arrest

Craig White
Craig White

Priority No. 1 for the Sacramento Fire Department after one of its firefighter paramedics was arrested in connection with several burglaries is to restore public trust in the department, the department’s leader said Sunday.

Chief Walt White said he was “mystified and disappointed” when he learned about the arrest of firefighter paramedic Craig White, 30, who is not related to the chief. Citrus Heights police said White knocked on doors of several residences in the Sunrise Vista Mobile Home Park on Friday afternoon, asking to perform smoke and carbon monoxide detector inspections. Once inside, police said, he would use the restroom and rifle through drawers.

Craig White was arrested about 1:45 p.m. Saturday and booked into Sacramento County jail on suspicion of five counts of burglary and three counts of elder abuse, according to a statement issued by the Citrus Heights Police Department. He remained in custody Sunday in lieu of $200,000 bail. His first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, Sacramento County records show.

“We’re always concerned about public perception and public trust,” the chief said. “This was a one-time, isolated incident.”

White has worked as a firefighter paramedic with the department for three years, the chief said, though he was an intern with the Sacramento Fire Department in 2006 before enrolling in the academy. He has a clean record with no history of disciplinary action. He was in “good standing with the organization,” the chief said.

As is standard protocol, Craig White was put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of his case.

The department has begun an internal investigation into the allegations against the paramedic, the chief said.

Citrus Heights police declined to specify what items allegedly were taken from the Sunrise Vista homes.

The chief reiterated Sunday that firefighters do not make unsolicited house calls to check smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms or any other home safety features.

Call The Bee’s Marissa Lang at (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter at @Marissa_Jae.

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