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A TV cameraman's arrest while coveringa fire raises questions about police and fire department policies on media access

Sounds clear. Unfortunately, it bears no resemblance to reality. Technically, police officers will tell you, there's no such thing as a non-crime-scene fire. Until arson is ruled out (a determination that can take days), every fire is a potential crime scene.

And, as for reporters valiantly risking their lives, that's out, too, says fire department spokesman Phil Yeager.

"We own that fire scene. We're not going to let you decide what's safe or not," he says, adding that firefighters are "extremely accommodating" to the press.

Chief Garrett's policy doesn't reflect the actual practices of police officers and firefighters at fires, and a judge has found that it's in conflict with the law, anyway. So does the chief have any intention of changing it?

"Why? The policy works," says McCullough.

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