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Citizen’s Police Board flawed, undermines Fresno’s cops


Citizen’s Police Board flawed, undermines Fresno’s cops

Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld lays out his opposition to Mayor Brand’s Police Advisory Board.

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The police across the country are under attack politically and literally.

Over the past 8 years, we have seen them wrongly accused by Marilyn Mosby, the Baltimore State Attorney, only to be found not guilty in a court of law. We have seen them wrongly accused in Ferguson, Missouri. We have seen them attacked in Dallas, more recently in Whittier, and now in Fresno with someone firing shots at a police car.

Now in Fresno we have a Citizens’ Police Safety Advisory Board being formed that will likely serve as more political attacks against the police. While Mayor Brand is an honorable and decent man, this policy is totally flawed on so many levels. It is a subtle and covert attack on the police suggesting they need to be monitored and watched and that they can’t be trusted. The fact is they are already monitored in 8 different ways:

1.) Internal affairs
2.) Office of Independent Review
3.) Grand Jury
4.) District Attorney
5.) FBI
6.) Justice Department
7.) Body Cameras
8.) Mayor and City Council

This review committee is tasked with responsibilities that they have no training for and can typically be used for political reasons against the police. What happens when the next mayor has a specific agenda against the police?

We know most politicians lack courage, principle, and check which way the political winds are blowing before making a decision. Such politicians can and will use this Board as a potential hammer against the police.

I’m sick of the attacks on our men and women who put the Blue uniform on every day to protect all of us. We should be supporting them in meeting the challenges they face of rampant crime, laws that don’t allow them to do their jobs effectively, and dealing with violent and dangerous criminals that know that, as a result of Propositions 47 and 57, and AB 109, there are no real consequences to the crimes they commit.

We are trying to hire new officers. Approval of this policy will only make it harder to recruit people. They can work in less dangerous communities for more money and without the on-going criticism from their elected leaders.

When an officer violates the law, they should and are prosecuted. But that is the case with everyone. All of us can improve at our jobs. Our officers are honorable, hardworking and sacrifice their own safety to ensure ours. We must stop these attacks, both subtle and overt. I stand with them today, tomorrow, and always.

Photo: Getty Images/Breitbart

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Garry Bredefeld

Garry Bredefeld is a clinical psychologist and Fresno City Council member for District 6, representing northeast Fresno.



  1. Steve

    March 13, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Views expressed succinctly!

  2. Eric Eide

    March 14, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Well said and all true. Worked 35 years in the Dept and retired in 2010. All of our good POP work, traffic safety program have suffered greatly and the community is paying for it. The rush to get a story first regardless of the facts has made it worse. Citizen community leaders should get an oppertuu to receive some training on our use of force simulator, go on ridealongs, attend briefings etc so they can convey their thoughts.

    They do not have a legal authority to change policies or bring charges but might b able to stem some of the misinformation thats out there. We used to be one of the best trained agencies around, not sure any more. Most officers are not raciist but do not like the lack of accountability currently out there. Civil disobediencemeans you peacefully accept consequences of your actions. The rioting now is just that. i was in charge of our MFFTRT and safely handled large protests, gatherings like the soul brothers, abortion protests without incidents. Our staffing was certainly better back then.

    Officers doing wrong because of poor training should be properly trained, those breaking the law swiftly tried and punished. No one wasnts officers who deal drugs, steal or being a bully.

  3. Dan Waterhouse

    March 15, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Sure sounds like he didn’t read the agenda item. Unless Brand renews it, the board goes away in 2020. All in all a hyperbolic rant that does its author little credit.

    • Garry Bredefeld

      March 16, 2017 at 6:55 am

      This new board can be renewed by any new mayor anytime they want to. This “sunset” clause has no meaning whatsoever. Once this board is created, it will continue as all government programs do. This is nothing more than “political correctness” and “feel good” legislation that will do nothing to reduce our crime rates or hire more police officers. In fact, it will hurt our efforts to hire more officers.

      We, as a community, need to support our officers and let them know we will do everything to ensure they have all the resources, training and support to make us all safer. Adding another layer of government and giving power to 14 unelected, unaccountable people is nothing short of abdicating one’s own elected responsibility to make our city safer. This is politics at its worst. All of the promises being made about how this board will enhance greater trust between the public and police were the same promises made when the Office of Independent Review were made. That did not happen and adding this board will not change that. Thanks for writing, Dan.

      • Garry Bredefeld

        March 18, 2017 at 7:51 am

        Please watch video from City Council meeting clearly outlining my reasons for opposing this Board. We need to focus on hiring more police officers and making our city safer, not transferring our responsibilities as elected officials to an un-elected, unaccountable Board.

  4. Dan Waterhouse

    March 16, 2017 at 7:15 am

    An additional comment: I served on the grand jury subcommittee that reviewed officer involved shootings in 2010. We heard testimony that convinces me more oversight not less is required:

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