Body cam footage captured heated argument between Valley Mills police officer, volunteer fire chief

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The Valley Mills Police Department reviewed best practices after a heated confrontation involving a police officer and the volunteer fire department chief on May 5, 2024, a day police say the city “experienced flooding that it has not seen since 1994.”

Valley Mills Police Officer Martin was the on call officer, scheduled to begin shift at 3:00 p.m. on May 5. At 4:12 a.m., Officer Martin received a phone call from a Valley Mills Volunteer Fire Department (VMVFD) member stating he “needs barricades out here.” The volunteer “provided no other information,” police said.

Ofc. Martin, a member of the VMVFD at the time, checked his VMVFD page notification and observed that there was a request for help at a house fire located outside the city limits in Bosque County and presumed that the barricades were being requested for the house fire, police said.

“Ofc. Martin determined the request was for a need outside the jurisdiction of the City of Valley Mills,” police wrote in a social media post, “No contradictive information was provided to Ofc. Martin at that time.”

At 6:28 a.m., a Valley Mills citizen called the police department to alert police that the roadways were flooded. Martin contacted Sgt. Williams and both responded to assess the reported flooding.

At 7:04 a.m., Officer Martin received a telephone call from dispatch requesting that he assist the VMVFD with flooding at the bridge on Highway 6 at County Road 3310. As Ofc. Martin proceeded to assist, he was unable to get to the scene because Highway 6 was completely flooded at the youth baseball complex.

As this event was unfolding, Valley Mills Police Chief Kelli Fikac was 470 miles away at mandatory training. At 7:24 am, Fikac received a call from Sgt. Williams briefing her of the flooding in the 200 block of N. Fourth as well as in the 100 block of Avenue C.

The police chief said she advised Sgt. Williams to have city barricades placed at both locations, monitor each location frequently and handle calls as they came in.

After the barricades were in place, Sgt. Williams contacted Fikac and informed her that during the incident, the Valley Mills Volunteer Fire Chief became confrontational and when asked why, the volunteer fire chief stated, “it has been brewing for a while.”

“I informed the Sgt. to remain professional and that upon my return, I would conduct an after action review to determine what if any changes needed to be made by our agency,” Fikac said, “Upon my return from training, I conducted an in-depth review of body camera video footage and all documentation surrounding the flooding event.”

Fikac said the VMVFD had been called at 2:38 a.m. to a house fire located outside the city limits of Valley Mills. She said police do not have access to the VMVFD paging notification system because the Volunteer Fire Chief David Fisk chose to remove police access more than two years ago “due to his disdain of the former Chief of Police.”

“Upon the separation of the former Chief from the City of Valley Mills, the Volunteer Fire Chief, David Fisk, decided to continue to prohibit (police) from the VMVFD paging access,” Fikac said.

“Based on body worn camera video footage, the confrontation with the Volunteer Fire Chief started when Sgt. Williams stated that per his Chief, they were not to post at the barricades, citing that if they received a major call, they would have to leave,” Fikac said.

Volunteer Fire Chief Fisk replied, “What the f*** do you think were supposed to do?”

Sgt. Williams is seen attempting to deescalate the situation while the volunteer fire chief said, “we don’t get a paycheck, y’all do.”

Sgt. Williams then said, " we are trying to help.”

The volunteer fire chief replied, “Go home. Nobody asked y’all to get here anyway.”

According to Fikac, the volunteer fire chief further said that “when the mayor asked him if the police needed to be called out, he told the mayor that he did not want the police there.”

During this conflict, Volunteer Fire Chief Fisk also told Ofc. Martin, “turn in your s***,” essentially, firing him as a volunteer with the VMVFD, Fikac said.

According to Fikac, her sergeant and officer followed the agency standard operating procedure for emergency mobilization immediately upon notification of the flooding. “Both also followed the agency standard operating procedure for adverse weather response and notification to the chain of command,” said.

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ThisIsButter1 (9918.00)

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