Police Fire Wars in Mississippi

A Mississippi fire chief and a county deputy sheriff are the latest participants in the ongoing Police-Fire Wars.

The incident occurred last Sunday at a motor vehicle accident in Poplarville, Mississippi. Allegedly the single vehicle involved in the crash was on its roof and its occupants were treated and transported.

The vehicle’s owner did not want to pay for a wrecker, so Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Joe Garcia was planning on allowing an unidentified person to turn the vehicle back onto its wheels using a winch.

Poplarville Fire Chief Mike White had a concern about flipping the car due to the presence of leaking fluids and the proximity of onlookers. At one point Corporal Garcia physically restrained Chief White and later arrested and charged him. The episode was caught on tape.

As the video shows, the question again comes down to who was in charge… and as we have seen time and time again the way police officers tend to handle disputes over who is in charge is by arresting fire and EMS personnel.WLOX.com – The News for South Mississippi

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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