The Fresno Police Department needs to be defunded. There is no reason why 53% of our city's budget should be allocated to the police department when we have community programs that are struggling to receive any type of funding. The safest communities are not those with the most police, they are the ones with the most resources. Police are being called to handle situations that they did not receive any training for, and going into communities of people that they do not understand, or know how to properly assess their need. In a city with a population of over 500,000 people and a homeless population of LESS than 2,000 it is so sickening that this issue has not been resolved. Defund the Fresno Police Department and allocate it to the necessary communities and programs, or else Fresno will never be able to progress and transform.
Now is the time to take action; it’s past time. It makes no sense to allocate 50% of the budget to police when we are still sorely lacking in other areas that would benefit our city so much more. I urge you to take those funds and use them to help those most marginalized and at risk. Use it to start the process of defunding the police and instead, implement new programs and policies to directly address underlying issues that often lead to police being called and then the mishandling of those already difficult situations. Let’s have new, unarmed, trained departments that de escalate situations where people are in need and get them the help they deserve. We need caring, not fear and violence. Show the people of Fresno, and the world, that you hear their cries of sorrow and help and do the right thing.
Good Morning City Council members,
I have lived in Fresno, my whole life. I believe that it is a good place but there are flaws. One of the flaws in Fresno is the FPD, which receives a major portion of the city budget. That money should be given to areas that for a long time has not been given the attention by this council. No, police department should cost half the city budget. While there are streets, lights, sidewalks, and other public maintenance that clearly have fallen through the cracks. I know this because the same things that need the money now are the same ones that needed funding when I was growing up. The city could use that money to better ourselves rather than giving it to a police department that have only harmed our communities.
Mayor Brand and City Council, I urge you to follow the lead of respected community leaders and use this catalytic moment of 2020 to turn the tide of "traditional" City of Fresno budget decisions. I speak as a resident of Fresno's District 3 in the Lowell neighborhood, a person of faith as an evangelical Christian, and a faith leader in my community.
There is no more time to waste on policing practices that do not protect, serve, or aid the welfare of our city. There is no more time to waste on slow-moving reform and promises of community policing left unfulfilled. The time to act is now, as our nation and globe is speaking out loudly to elected officials that we need immediate change in our policing systems. You have the ability to engender trust and respect with the residents of Fresno by responding to the calls set forth globally, and the demands set forth locally by the Fresno State NAACP last week, an organization that has the backing of thousands of residents.
We need you to make immediate change and ensure that 2021 looks different than 2020 for our community. We do not need over half of our city budget invested in policing. We need Fresno PD defunded and we need funds allocated elsewhere for the good of our community. Otherwise, the residents of Fresno will continue demanding change and justice until we see it. You have the ability to listen and change course NOW before our community gets impatient.
It is unfortunate to learn that growing up in a city I loved has worse problems than I could have come to imagine. It is not fair to our healthcare workers to not have access to PPE masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also unfair for our school teachers to pay for school supplies out of pocket when their salaries are already very low. These dilemmas could be solved if more funds were allocated from the police’s budget to other essential services, such as healthcare and the school system, to represent a just budget for all services in Fresno.
I'd encourage city council members to consider reducing funds to the police department. Why are we allocating half the budget to the police department when there are other areas that need crucial funding? The city should prioritize spending on community health, education, and affordable housing. Reducing the budget could include withdrawing from any police militarization programs, requiring cops to be liable for misconduct settlements, suspending paid leave for cops under investigation, and reducing the overall size of the police force.
It is shameful that over 50% of Fresno’s budget goes towards the FPD, when the basic needs of our community continue to fail to be met. This money must be reallocated to fund the education and social services our city needs. Instead of over-policing our communities, we need to address the root problems by building by building up our community and providing it with basic resources.
I request that the City Council reconsider their proposed budget allocation to the Fresno Police Department, and instead divert a larger portion of the budget toward community-based models of safety, support, and prevention. The people who respond to crises in our community should be the people best equipped to deal with those crises, such as mental health service providers, social workers, victim/survivor advocates, religious leaders, neighbors, and friends. Rather than overextending our expectations for Fresno police, we should allow the people who truly make up the fiber of a community to have the support they need to heal and address the variety of social issues currently faced within the Black community of Fresno. By shifting money away from policing and toward services that actually meet the needs of the community, we will be able to get to a place where crime does not need to be committed in order to meet basic human needs. We don't need more cops in this community. We need more jobs, more educational opportunities, more arts programs, more community centers, more mental health resources, and more of a say in how our communities function.
I support the Fresno Police Department and oppose any reduction in their budget. Police are not the enemy! Cutting or eliminating the police budget will result in a less safe city and increases in crime and violence. The call to defund the police department or reduce their budget plays well to some elements in the current crisis, but will do nothing in the long run to reduce crime or improve the quality of life in Fresno.
It is a shame that 53% of Fresnos over all budget is used towards the police department. By funneling money into the police department we are avoiding the underline systemic problem. It has been proven that in order to lower crime rates people need better social programs. Instead of money being funneled into the Fresno PD the money would be better allocated into social programs such as implementing better drug and alcohol outreach programs. I know it is not feasible to cut the police departments budget by half, but I do know that Fresno would benefit redirecting 15-20% of the Fresno PD's over all budget to education, parks, outreach programs, and infrastructure.
I’ve lived in Fresno,Ca for almost twenty years and have noticed the over policing over criminalization in our neighborhoods. It was very notable that those affected by this were in poverty. And majority of our poverty stricken citizens happen to be Hispanics and Blacks. This due to systematic racism. And the only thing I see that could possibly be any sort of positive change is by first dismantling our current legal system. How is it that 50% of our money goes solely to the police? I can think of many ways our money can be put for better use. We always hear that there’s a lack of funds for repairs, schools and parks. Why not use some of that 50% to better our city in appearance and pride.
Defund the police—heck let’s take it further and follow Minneapolis’s lead and dismantle the police department altogether. Let’s use the enormous amount of money Fresno puts towards the police department to help our education system, to help the homeless population of our city, to help our veterans, to help provide food and other resources for lower income families and others in need. We could use that money to help implementing various drug and violence programs that would help reduce crime in our city. We could use that money to help educate our community on diversity and make Fresno a better place to live for people of all races, religions, colors, genders, etc. There are so many ways we can allocate the money that currently goes to the police department, that COULD ACTUALLY benefit Fresno and it’s people as a whole. We can either strive to be leaders in a better future where everyone is equal or we can remain where we are and do the bare minimum. The choice is yours and we, the people of Fresno, hope and expect our leaders to the do right thing.
Across this country and in our town, our communities have fallen into a cycle of over-policing which has led to the over-criminalization of our hoods. Growing up in West Fresno, I have seen up close and personal the effects a heavy police presence has on our community. If we defunded the police department and addressed the systemic issues that an oppressive institution has on me and my neighbors, then we will begin to see resilient neighborhoods without the need for crime. Poverty is violence. And the fact that the police department's hot spot for business is in my community is disheartening.
There is no need for reforms. Reforms means more money to the police department. We need to take the lead of black activists and people who have had to deal with a heavy police presence in our communities. Our need for the police department with millions of our tax payers' money is no more. Let's transfer responsibilities of the police to experts who are not just aggressive people with guns. Let's make a difference and do something amazing in front of the world during these unprecedented times.
Finally, please help us get rid of the police from our school campuses. There is no reason to police children. I never felt safe with police on campus. Let's switch up the culture at school and advance programs like wellness centers where our youth will feel safe and heard. This will boost morale and lead to less violent incidents.
The City of Fresno has spent more than $5.3 million in defending and settling lawsuits related to officer-involved shootings from 2008 to 2016. Why is it that the city can spend millions of dollars defending and settling officer-involved shootings, but can't use those resources to start healing a hurt community? Change needs to take place, and a reallocation of those funds must be aimed toward building up our community instead of over-policing it.
Fresno is a great place, but it could be even better. One way to achieve this goal would be to cut the massive budget of FPD and redirect it into channels that give back to the community. A very important one would be more funds to education. The police department should not cost over half of the budget, while general maintenance of public places and facilities are left to rot. Furthermore, homelessness continues to rise within the county, and it is certainly not helped by over-policing the homeless. Additionally, Fresno has a doctor shortage, both primary care and specialists, including nurses and dentists. Overall, Fresno would greatly benefit from more funds being directed towards supporting the community - not policing it. Thank you, and I hope you will consider your constituents and residents concerns.
Over 50% of Fresno’s general budget went to the police department last year. That is unacceptable. Fresno’s budget should reflect the wants of the people who live and take part in the community. The city and its people would be better served if the money was reallocated to programs that helped build the community and addressed the problems within. I believe that the majority of funds given to the FPD should be used for public education and other social programs that focus on community needs instead.
the police department should be defunded; frankly, it should be disbanded. everyone on the city council is FIENDING for the police union endorsement and their money. prioritize the community for ONCE and actually work to solve the issues that we are facing as a city which can’t be solved by the police. especially luis chavez who was working for mr stop and frisk bloomberg’s failed presidential campaign, has taken thousands from the FPOA, been endorsed by them, and his relation to mims, he better work to solve the issues our community is facing or he fasho isn’t getting re-elected next cycle.
I am commenting to voice my opposition to allowing the majority of the cities budget to be allocated to the police force in the City of Fresno. I believe those resources would be better served in programs & organizations that improve the betterment of those in our most vulnerable neighborhoods. We have asked to much of the police. We have asked them to play to many roles they were never meant to. They are over extended and we, the people, are over policed. Instead of reacting to issues in the community we should be creating programs, as well as reinvesting in current programs that are working, with the help of Black and people of color community leaders to prevent issues in a positive way as a opposed to criminalizing our neighbors.
Clearly our current system is not working to protect and serve all community members. Our police force is overly militarized without actually creating safer communities for all. We do not feel safe. It's time to change tactics and invest in our teachers, schools, programs, homeless, medical and the celebration of the many differences Fresno has to offer in partnership with our Black and people of color leadership. We can & must do better. The first step is allocating money & resources to where will they will do the most good. That currently is not the police department. It is also not repeating previously approved budgets with slight adjustments. Thank you for your time.
For too long Fresno has neglected, disregarded and not cared to address the root causes of income inequalities, crime, violence and poverty. We must address the roots of these problems, not trying to trim back weeds with racist, violent, militarized force. Cops are not equipped to deal with these issues and we all know why Fresno doesn’t want community led protection, aid, deescalation, resources and opportunities to take the place of the cops. To do so would be to loosen the grip on white supremacy and control in this city. We must change and we must do what is right for each and every one of us here in Fresno. Defund the police, pass programs like Advance Peace which was vetoed by mayor. We are only as strong as the weakest among us and Fresno has a responsibility to uplift those people.
The police is payed for by the people, the police works for us, we collectively sign their paychecks, and the people of Fresno demand the defunding of the police and for the community to decide how and what will replace it!
Now more than ever is the time to re-examine the unnecessarily large budget for the Fresno Police Department. With more than 50% of the general fund being allocated to this department, you’d expect better responses to the growing number of inmates with Covid. You’d expect unarmed teenagers like Isiah Murrietta-Golding wouldn’t be unjustly killed by cops. Instead, shot spotter technology and excessive amounts of police are sent to lower income (specifically colored) communities. Now more than ever, with former police chiefs holding positions in local office, is the time to insure accountability in our police force. We have brought up too many policies this past year that criminalize colored and homeless communities to be brought into the discussion, when really it should be time we take the first step in investing in these communities by defunding the police.