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KCPD Employee Who Allegedly Claimed to Be Officer, Left Accident Scene, Works in IT

Glenn E. Rice

Victoria Russell says she was in a minor car wreck in December with a Kansas City Police Department employee who falsely claimed to be an officer and left the scene. Russell has filed a complaint. By Glenn Rice Up Next Current Time 0:20/Duration 2:30And she said, no, you ran into me, and then she was all bent out of shape and Victoria Russell says she was in a minor car wreck in December with a Kansas City Police Department employee who falsely claimed to be an officer and left the scene. Russell has filed a complaint. By Glenn Rice

A woman accused of falsely identifying herself as a police officer and leaving the scene of an accident is an IT supervisor at the Kansas City Police Department, officials confirmed Tuesday.

A police investigation is being conducted into allegations that Paula Chapman-Fagan, 55, “flashed a police badge” and drove away after a car accident late last year in the parking lot of a Platte County thrift store.

Russell said Chapman-Fagan became angry and drove away when she asked for driver’s license and insurance information after their vehicles backed into each other in the parking lot of the thrift store in the 6500 block of North Cosby Avenue on Dec. 19.

Chapman-Fagan has worked for the police department since 2002. Police said Tuesday there was no criminal investigation underway but they have launched an internal review in response to the complaint.

Chapman-Fagan is currently employed and not on any duty restriction, said Sgt. Jacob Becchina, a police spokesman.

“There was no indication at any point that any “enforcement action” or “Police action” was attempted to be taken,” Becchina said in an email.

“None the less, the internal review is taking place to ensure that is the case. Simply attempting to gather information from another person involved in an accident is not police action,” he said.

“Those complaints are investigated and the results forwarded to the members chain of command for disposition if appropriate, just like in any other case involving a complaint to OCC,” Becchina said.

Chapman-Fagan could not be reached for comment. A phone message left at her home was not returned Tuesday.

Authority Questioned

Russell, a resident of Laurel, Mississippi, said she was in the Kansas City area as part of a temporary work assignment at Liberty Hospital. Before returning to Mississippi at the end of the week she hopes for a resolution to her complaint.

“I want them to do something about this,” she said. “They have an employee who is acting like a police officer. I don’t know if she has done it to other people before or if this is her first time. Somebody should have done something.”

The internal investigation was launched after Russell filed a complaint with the OCC office on Dec. 23.

Russell said she and Chapman-Fagan got out of their vehicles immediately after the accident. Neither vehicle showed any damage, but Russell said she wanted to exchange driver’s license and insurance information with the other driver.

Chapman-Fagan allegedly replied: “No, you ran into me, I was honking my horn over and over. You ran into me, your music is too loud.”

When Russell asked Chapman-Fagan what she wanted to do, Russell said the woman “flashed her police badge,” Russell said. Chapman-Fagan demanded Russell’s license and insurance information but, Russell refused.

“How do I know you are a police officer and that that badge is real?” Russell asked.

In her complaint, Russell said the woman told her that she was off-duty and was driving her personal vehicle. Russell insisted they call 911 and have a uniformed officer respond and sort out their disagreement.

But Chapman-Fagan got back into her vehicle and drove away. Russell grabbed her cellphone and tried to take a photo of the woman and her license plate, Russell allege.

The Law

Kansas City Municipal Prosecutor Linda Miller said she was not aware of the accident and nothing has been presented to her office to review.

Miller declined further comment but cited three municipal ordinances that pertain to leaving the scene of a vehicular accident.

Drivers are required to share their driver’s license information, vehicle registration number of their vehicle. They are also required to notify the police department, according to the ordinances.

John Picerno, a Kansas City defense attorney, said in some instances, a motorist can be charged with a misdemeanor for leaving the scene of an accident.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said nothing has been presented to his office for criminal charges.

Zahnd said it is misdemeanor under Missouri law for a person to falsely represent themselves to be a law enforcement officer with the purpose to make another person to submit to their pretended official authority.
Read more here: https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article240627247.html#storylink=cpy