Tulare police chief arrested for domestic violence

TULARE, Calif.

Jerry Breckinridge, 47, has been with the Tulare Police Department his entire law enforcement career. He has been the chief of police since 2009.

The Tulare police chief could face jail or even prison time if the district attorney's office decides to pursue domestic violence charges against him. He was arrested late Sunday night after he got into an altercation with his girlfriend on Saturday night.

Breckinridge declined to comment to Action News on his arrest, but City Manager Don Dorman says he stands behind him.

"He's not on restriction," said Dorman. "Again, there's no charges been filed, and it was an off-duty incident; there's nothing whatsoever that calls into question his ability to be the police chief at this point."

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office submitted its case to the district attorney late Monday afternoon, after arresting the chief on domestic violence charges on Sunday night. Breckinridge was taken into custody at his home in Tulare at around 10:45 p.m. The arrest stemmed from a dispute the 47-year-old had with his girlfriend the night before.

"Essentially taken to the Tulare County Sheriff's Department, where they did the booking and release process," said Dorman. "He was released on bail, and so from here it's a matter of just seeing what happens next."

Because Chief Breckinridge posted his $50,000 bail, the district attorney's office has months before they're required to decide on what, if any, charges he'll face.

Breckinridge has worked with the Tulare Police Department since 1989, starting on patrol, eventually working his way up the ranks to becoming police chief in 2009. Despite the criminal investigation, Breckinridge will face no disciplinary action for the arrest.

"There's nothing yet that I've learned that would cause me to think any differently about him, and he's got my support until something comes up that says 'I can't,'" said Dorman.

City officials say they expect Chief Breckinridge back in the office by Wednesday.

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