Firefighters To Deter Crime?

In response to some recent shootings and robberies, Washington, D.C. is now stationing manned firetrucks in neighborhoods and on city blocks like they do police cars. The immediate and obvious question is: What's the point? What can firefighters do if they see a crime in progress other than have the police dispatched just like a citizen would? They don't have any police equipment (handcuffs, firearms, etc.). Has anyone ever seen a city try this as a crime deterrent?

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