Four Salt Lake County firefighter arson investigators have been authorized to carry firearms while performing their duties.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Aaron Kennard said his office gave specialized firearms training to the arson investigators as part of a campaign promise that he would give top priority to re-establishing a working relationship with other agencies in the valley."Although firefighters are not armed and their purpose and function is to fight fires, this arson investigative unit, during the course of an investigation, could very easily be confronted by hostile individuals and they do have the right to defend themselves," he said.

Because of the certification, Kennard said the investigators can proceed with their assignments knowing they can and will defend themselves if necessary.