Fresno City Council receives recommendations from police reform commission

A bulk of recommendations will focus on streamlining the responsibility of police officers.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- After months of collaboration, a 39-person Police Reform Commission, made up of community leaders and law enforcement, came up with 73 recommendations to better the Fresno Police Department.

Commission Chair Oliver Baines says they were nearly unanimous among members.

"We found a way to get different points of view to agree on a lot of stuff. which is very rare," Baines said.

The commission heard from over 4,000 community members through a survey.

The outcome? 5 things Fresnans want to see.

- A review and update to the department use of force policy
- Training on implicit bias and de-escalation
- Prioritizing community-based public safety solutions

- Alternative approaches for non-threatening solutions
- The reinvestment of general fund dollars to community services.

Baines says a bulk of recommendations will focus on streamlining the responsibility of officers.

"We have increased the mission on what a police officer does in the city and it puts police officers in situations that they are not adequately trained to deal with nor should they be dealing with particularly when they are not criminal in nature," said Baines.

That includes disbanding the homeless taskforce and reallocating resources to social services and community-based organizations

Vice-Chair Sandra Celedon says the commission wants to help the police department better focus on addressing crime.

"Ultimately the commission believes that investing in community-based prevention solutions will also make the job of police officers easier," Celedon said.

Council voted to establish an implementation committee to decide which recommendations get set in motion.

This doesn't mean that all 73 recommendations will be approved.

The committee's work will begin in January under the newly sworn-in mayor and city council.
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