Officer Involved Shooting in Calwa

March 9, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fresno Police said Victor Becerril was a validated Bulldog gang member with a long criminal history. Chief Jerry Dyer said the 32 year old may have been driving a stolen van early this morning before he got out and lunged at an officer with a long and jagged stick. Dyer said when the officer used a stun gun and it had no effect on Becerril he had no choice but to shoot him. Becerril died on the scene.Dyer said, "That tells me that people are more willing to be aggressive towards officers." The Chief calls it a disturbing trend because it is the fourth officer involved shooting since the beginning of the year. In 2008 there were seven. The shooting happened just a few hours before the Chief and Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin went on a local radio show and revealed new details about the independent police auditor position they both support. The Mayor said, "You do it if you believe that it is in the city's best interest in the long run both from a public safety standpoint as well as a financial standpoint that it's the right remedy right now."

The Fresno City Council must approve the creation of the new position. Some of the details in the Mayor's proposal include the auditor's job description and boss, who would be the City Manager. He or she must have a legal background and be familiar with law enforcement. The position would earn a salary of approximately $150,000 a year including benefits.

Chief Dyer hopes the auditor will in time increase the public's trust of Fresno Police. He said, "There is nothing we can do to gain the trust of everyone but there are things we can do to enhance the level of trust of certain members of our community."

Mayor Swearengin has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday where she will reveal more details about the controversial position that has been talked about in Fresno for ten years.

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