FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE)- 23 new officers, one Deputy Chief, one Captain, one Lieutenant, and four Sergeants were sworn in during a ceremony Tuesday.
In a climate where violent crimes and gun violence has skyrocketed to over 100 percent compared to the year prior, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama says the goal is to hire more than 100 officers by next year.
“It means a lot to the security of the city, it means a lot towards driving violent crimes down, and a lot of good things for our community, we have to take it one step at a time,” says Chief Balderrama.
Burke Farrah has been sworn in as the new Deputy Chief of Police, second in command to Chief Balderrama, after serving more than 28 years in the Fresno Police Department. Chief Balderrama says he is the best person for the role.
“He’s a person that is well respected, and a person that has the education, and training needed to fill that role so I have high expectations.”
This new line of defense coming at a time when Chief Balderrama announced all specialized units in the department will be focused on violent crime. He hopes for better violent crime intelligence and faster responses by patrol units.
“Numbers matter when the presence of law enforcement is gonna help keep people safe, as they see us in certain neighborhoods, it’s going to deter crime.”
The Chief gives one last piece of advice to the new Fresno Police Officers.
“Learn everything you can out there, find the right mentors that will give you the right information so you can do your job, but also don’t forget about the community you’re serving.”