LAVON (CBSDFW.COM)There are new developments in the fight over locked fire hydrants in Lavon. The Lavon Special Utility District is now getting police involved in its battle with the fire department.

This latest conflict comes after a firefighter accidentally cut a padlock while demonstrating how to perform the task with a lock cutter. Now city leaders are saying the water provider is refusing to let firefighters use hydrants for training, an accusation the utility company denies.

Lavon residents like Stephanie Smith say it shouldn’t be a crime to cut padlocks off the city’s fire hydrants. “I think it’s ridiculous,” she said. “I think the firefighters should determine what happens with these hydrants.”

Members of Lavon’s police department spent much of the day examining security camera video after the water company complained that someone cut one of the padlocks on the fire hydrants that have caused a controversy since CBS 11 News first reported the story three months ago.

“I just think it’s nuts,” Lavon Mayor Chuck Teske said frustrated.

Mayor Teske says the Lavon Special Utility District filed a police report and the investigation determined that a firefighter cut the lock during a training exercise. Because of that, the Lavon police chief, Mike Jones, said the water company warned the fire department not to use hydrants for training.

The Chief said, “In my more than three decades of being a law enforcement officer I’ve never heard of anyone reporting a fire department for using water in the public interest.”

Mayor Teske thinks there is just a certain order to things. “Normal fire departments use the water to train. Normal fire departments have free access to the water to do their training. I don’t know why that would be a problem now.”

In its defense, officials with the utility district said if the fire department had simply reported the cut lock a police report would have never been filed. Officials also said fire hydrants can be used for training, if there’s a request.

There are new stickers on the locked hydrants threatening a $20,000 fine for tampering with them.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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