PARLIER, Calif. (KGPE) – Tensions are running high between the cities of Parlier and Coalinga over their shared dispatch services.

Parlier mayor Alma Beltran is accusing incoming interim Coalinga Police Chief, Jose Garza, of a conflict of interest. Garza was fired as police chief by the City of Parlier last year.

Beltran said she’s concerned for the safety of her community.

“[Garza] doesn’t really care for me or the department because he did not leave on good terms,” she said.

The Parlier City Council did not renew Garza’s contract last April citing budgetary constraints. The former police chief later tried suing the city over an embezzlement scheme by a city employee; he pointed to this as the real reason for his termination.

According to a staff report found on the City of Coalinga’s agenda for January 6th, Beltran threatened to cut ties with Coalinga after Garza was announced as incoming interim chief. But in an interview with KSEE 24/CBS 47, the mayor said that was inaccurate.

“It’s not personal, it has nothing to do with him. It just has to do with the wellbeing of the City of Parlier,” she said.

Beltran said she called Coalinga councilmember Adam Adkisson over concerns Garza would be the one proposing to terminate the contract because of a vendetta against her and the City of Parlier, “cause he is still currently trying to sue the City of Parlier,” she said.

Beltran adds the City of Coalinga reassured her Garza would not have the sole authority to terminate the contract, and she said she’s happy with the shared services.

“They have provided a great service, the response time has changed dramatically. We used to pay over $230,000 with the sheriff’s department.”

Coalinga provides dispatch services to Parlier since 2019.

Garza could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, but outgoing Coalinga Police Chief Darren Blevins said both city councils met two weeks ago to discuss the contract and other personnel problems, including complaints about Parlier officers acting aggressively on the radio and taking up more time than expected, as outlined in the January 6th staff report.

Blevins and Beltran said the meeting was productive in helping both cities address contract issues to move forward. Blevins’ last day is February 17th. Garza is one of the four candidates for police chief.

The City of Coalinga is discussing the contract at its meeting on Thursday; a rate increase is part of the negotiation. The City of Parlier currently pays the City of Coalinga $104,000 annually.