FRESNO, California (KGPE) — Fresno Police officers are one step closer to getting new guns after Fresno City Council approved moving budget carryover funds around. Chief Andy Hall says the department is in need of 900 new guns.
Councilman Mike Karbassi first made the motion to re-allocate the funds. He proposed taking $50,000 out of funding for interns and $63,500 out of a fund for a memorial in front of Fresno Police headquarters.
That totals to $113,500, which is less than half of the more than $273,000 needed to transition the department with new guns. Police still will have to foot the rest of the amount.
“I just looked at the budget, I looked at areas where I thought there was some redundancy,” Karbassi said.
When called to the podium, Hall said his officers’ guns malfunction so much they don’t know if a gun will work two days in a row.
“We need to come to a solution so that our officers — my family members — go out … and have the support of this council,” he said.
City Council president Miguel Arias ended up supporting the re-allocation but said police should’ve budgeted for new guns. Especially since it was known the guns were coming up on their 10-year life cycle.
“We increased the police budget by $32 million last year alone. It is unresponsible [sic] and non-negotiable for the department not to budget for something as basic as guns,” Arias said.
Hall maintained he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure his officers are safe.
“We’re going to fund this, whether we lay off officers, dispatchers, community service officers — we’re going to fund that,” Hall said.