Parlier police chief dismissed after four years with department

PARLIER, Calif. (KFSN) -- Parlier's mayor and city council have decided to dismiss the police chief over the objections of many officers and community members.

Chief Jose Garza came to Parlier from the Fresno Police Department four years ago and grew the police department by about 50 percent.

Several of the city's officers tried to convince the council to retain Garza, saying under his leadership, crime has been reduced, more cameras have been provided and public sentiment about the police has improved.

Many speakers at a meeting this week said it would be devastating to the city to let him go.

"If we can't have our chief and our leader that we all strived for, I have no other choice because I'm not getting the support and we're not getting the support of our council and our mayor," says Parlier Police Sgt. Dan Barcellos. "I would have to look for employment elsewhere."

The mayor cited budgetary concerns before the city council went into a closed session and made its decision to dismiss Chief Garza.

She said they need to focus on encouraging voters to pass "Measure Q" to fund the police department.

As of Friday morning, about half of the city's police officers have asked the chief for letters of reference to find new jobs.
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