FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – Fresno City Mayor Jerry Dyer presented his city budget for the 2023 fiscal year.
The budget does not have to be approved until the end of June by the city council, but Thursday afternoon, the mayor tried to lay the groundwork for passage.
One focal point for the mayor’s budget is the addition of dozens of first responders.
“Staffing is projected to be at full strength by the end of F-Y 23 and that includes all of the additional positions that I am proposing,” he said.
Dyer plans to add 33 police officers and four sergeants to the Fresno Police Department
This extra staffing will allow officers to return to patrolling Fresno Unified Middle Schools.
“We’ll be adding back 13 police officers. Again, that is going to be cost neutral because of the funding from Fresno Unified,” explained Dyer.
Council Member Tyler Maxwell says if there are more officers added, he wants to see more bike patrol units in his district.
“I have a more specific scope on East Central Fresno. For me that bike unit is important so before I take a vote on that, when your time comes to present before this council, I do want to see that plan,” said Tyler Maxwell.
“For the first time in a long time, about this time next year, we will be fully staffed. There are very few large cities in the country that can say that,” concluded Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama.
The mayor also plans to add 24 firefighters over two years, to bring the total number to over 370.
That’s over 100 firefighters on call per day. 20 more than just two years ago, and eight more than the daily current total of 85.
Several other council members brought up dangerous and unpaved roads.
They showed photos to the mayor and asked him where the money is to fix the roads in his budget.
The mayor responded by saying his budget is up for the council’s consideration and can be modified where needed.