A municipal corporation generally has no duty to provide fire and police protection, and is not liable in tort or contract to private persons for losses suffered therefrom, unless a statute specifically allows recovery. The underlying reasoning for this comes from (1) the concept of governmental tort immunity when municipalities are engaged in governmental functions (fire-fighting and giving police protection are almost universally held to be governmental functions) and (2) the common law notion that, absent any duty imposed by statute, the municipal corporation cannot be liable for mere inactivity on the part of public servants which results in damage, there being no duty to act in the first place. These circumstances have led to much misery of victims of municipal negligence and incompetence, in the writer's opinion.
Charles F. Reusch, Municipal Liability for Failure to Provide Police and Fire Protection, 15 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 296 (1966)