Faith community reacts to Foster's sentencing: 'All of us have sinned'

FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno community faith leaders are speaking out about, former Fresno Police deputy chief, Keith Foster's sentencing.

Foster was well known in Fresno's faith community.

Foster mentioned several times throughout court, Monday, "God is good" going into court and out of court.

YourCentralValley spoke with a local pastor who said this is a time people like Foster lean on their faith.

Foster made it clear he was leaning on his faith as he was sentenced to four years in federal prison for drug trafficking, followed by three years parole.

Foster was convicted of conspiring to distribute heroin and marijuana while holding the 2nd highest position within the with the Fresno Police Department.

Monday, at Foster's sentencing several family members and his pastor stood by him.

The judge mentioned how several people in the community wrote character letters on Foster's behalf.

YourCentralValley spoke with a local pastor who said Foster was well known in the faith community.

"Keith was one that was a part of our community for a long time apparently made a mistake and going to pay for that mistake,"  Pastor Jim Franklin, of Cornerstone Church, said.

Franklin said just because Foster made this mistake it doesn't mean they don't love him or support him during his time of need.

"We don't make excuses for what has happened, we don't condone what has happened but we still love the individual," Franklin said. "All of us have sinned when we come short to the glory of God, that's where his grace comes in."

Franklin said any time an official of Foster's rank falls from grace, it has a big impact on the community. But he said it doesn't mean the public doesn't have faith in law enforcement.

"You know, there's bad apples in every bunch but we have a great police department here and our trust and our faith is still in them as it is with God," Franklin said.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, Foster's supervisor and long-time friend, released a statement, where he said quote, "This has been a very painful chapter in the history of the Fresno Police

Department, and for me personally. It is my hope that we are able to put this behind us, learn from it, and never to be repeated again." End quote.

Under federal guidelines, Foster must serve 85-percent of his sentence, which is close to three and a half years.

The judge ordered Foster to turn himself in on January 13. He will serve his time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc or Dublin.


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