FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Five months after Fresno announced the formation of a Commission on Police Reform, the City Council unanimously accepted their 73 recommendations Thursday.
“This is going to be one of those votes that you all look back on and I think you’ll be proud,” Oliver Baines, the chairman of the Fresno Commission on Police Reform, said.
Baines said the majority of the 39 member group agreed on the final recommendations.
“So very powerful work to get so many people from so many diverse backgrounds to all agree on all those recommendations,” he said.
The recommendations include actively trying to recruit officers from more diverse backgrounds, who are more reflective of the community, a shift in the use of force policies, and taking police off calls they’re not equipped to deal with.
“I agree with some of the comments that were made that we put such a tremendous amount of expectations on police officers where we expect them to be social workers, and psychologists, and counselors and mentors and then also do what, which is their primary role, law enforcement,” councilmember Luis Chavez said.
The city will now form an implementation team to look at each individual recommendation and lay out what it would take to put it in action. They’ve set aside $1,000,000 of the city’s budget for the cause.
Councilmembers Mike Karbassi and Garry Bredefeld wanted to make it clear the vote to accept the recommendations Thursday was not a vote to implement them outright.
“I know one of the recommendations is they don’t think police should be on school campuses, I do. I think it does make it safer, other people have very different points of view,” Councilmember Garry Bredefeld said.
The city attorney said before any policies are changed, the individual recommendations will have to go back to the council for a final vote.