Fresno Police Department to name Paco Balderrama as new police chief

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The City of Fresno is expected to introduce Paco Balderrama as its new Police Chief on Tuesday.

Sources tell Action News that Balderrama is already in the area looking for a home.

Balderrama is currently the Deputy Chief at the Oklahoma City Police Department and was involved with the department for more than 20 years.

He was known as a calming force during Oklahoma City protests over racial injustice.

"I'll always have an image in my mind of Paco on the front lines, shaking hands with protestors and talking with them," said Mayor of Oklahoma City David Holt.

During his 21-year police career, Balderrama quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to Deputy Chief last year. For a decade, he was the face of the department, serving as Public Information Officer.

When asked what kind of police chief Fresno is getting, Mayor Holt said "I think a fast-rising up-and-comer in American law enforcement."

Every promotion he received drew attention because Balderrama was the highest-ranking Latino officer in the department's 130-year history.

"It's not about the ethnicity. It's about the actual issues so you're going to get a person who is very frank and very outspoken," said Raul Font, who heads the Latino Community Development Agency in OKC and was also Balerrama's high school principal.

The incoming chief attended the University of Central Oklahoma and has a Master's degree in Criminal Justice Administration.

Balderrama was also involved in the Oklahoma community as a former board member of the Latino Community Development Agency and the Wes Welker Foundation.

Andy Hall was named Interim Chief after Jerry Dyer retired. Dyer is now ready to take the oath as Fresno Mayor in January.

His successor, Paco Balderrama, also has a twin brother Beto who is a captain in the Oklahoma City Police Department.
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