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Report finds Fresno police understaffed, overworked and with low morale

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For the men and women we depend on to keep us safe, a report finds that there are not enough of them in Fresno and it is weighing down on the department. (KFSN)

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says there are a lot of changes ahead, starting with the patrol division.

For the men and women we depend on to keep us safe, a report finds that there are not enough of them in Fresno and it is weighing down on the department.

Dyer says he's trying to fix a broken department, "Our officers are overworked," He said. "They're understaffed, and I know it's taking a tremendous toll on them."

The problems were brought to the surface through an internal report. Officers were interviewed by an outside agency, given anonymity for their concerns. At the top of the list, the work conditions and a thinly stretched patrol division, which has led to a drastic drop in morale.

"You have officers out there functioning on reduced staffing levels," Dyer said. "Equipment that's less than adequate for them, they feel like they're being unfairly criticized and scrutinized."

The president of the Fresno Police Officers Association Jacky Parks says he's been voicing the same concerns for years as an officer. "We've been doing it for so long and trying to make it work that you see in this survey," he explained. "It's finally rose to a level of frustration, and it's impacting us."

It's also impacting the streets, there are not enough officers on patrol. Response times get delayed and Parks says it reflects poorly on the department, "it's impacting our ability to recruit," Parks said. "It's impacting our ability to keep a good officer so that's extremely important to our community, they deserve to have the best quality officers and it's hard to keep them."

It's also frustrating for Dyer, but he's not sitting idle, he's making changes.

Finding ways around the budget to put more officers on patrol and the department, he says, will be restructured in July. "I have tried to do my very best to support the employees, to get them the resources they need, to get the equipment," Dyer said. "And I'm going to continue to do that because I believe in what they do, what they stand for."

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fresno police departmentfresnojerry dyerFresno
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