FRESNO, California (KSEE) – The Fresno Police Department reports there are 57 vacancies in the department right now. Of the 22 cadets graduating today from Fresno City College’s Police Academy, four are going to work for the Fresno Police Department.
Fresno is experiencing a 283% year-to-year increase in murders and a 72% increase in shootings. The coordinator of Friday’s graduation says they prepare their cadets for times like this.
“We’ve seen these, I call these peaks and valleys over the years and we see things where times are difficult and that’s where law enforcement has to rise up and meet the challenges and those expectations that are set forth by their community,” said Timothy Hahn, the Police Academy Coordinator at Fresno City College.
Fresno City College Police Academy cadet graduate, Brandon Holder says COVID-19 has already had a major impact on his class.
“It’s been a process, due to COVID-19, we had to get our class extended. It’s been around seven months now and it was difficult, it is challenging at times.”
The training normally takes six months to complete more than 1,000 hours of training. The pandemic required much of that to happen outdoors including today’s graduation.
“With the rules and the social distancing and other things, just basically what the government’s required, we have had to set up a venue where we’re outdoors now, practicing social distancing and obviously that really changes the dynamics,” said Hahn.
More than half of today’s graduating class are already hired by either Merced, Fresno, Los Banos or Reedley police departments.