Two police officers from Des Moines are sharing the Governor’s Award for Fire Investigator of the Year.  Jack Kamerick and Dave Blaylock were nominated for the award by Dave Knutzen, with the Des Moines Fire Department. The capital city had 54 arson arrests back in 2003. That number increased to 74 arrests in 2006.

"A lot of that has to do with the aggressiveness of these two individuals," Knutzen says. He says fire investigators in other Iowa cities can learn a lot from Kamerick and Blaylock. Knutzen says both men keep an "open mind" and are keenly aware of what the scene and witnesses are telling them about the fire. He says the police officers have a great working relationship with the fire department.

"We bounce things off each," Knutzen says, "we do the investigation together and make sure we don’t leave anything unturned." Blaylock and Kamerick received the awards last weekend in Ames during the state’s annual Summer Fire School.

Audio: Radio Iowa’s Pat Curtis report. :32 MP3