Lee P. Brown, who is among America’s leading experts on community policing, is consulting with the Fresno Commission on Police Reform, the group’s chairman, Oliver Baines, said Thursday.
“We’re truly fortunate to have (Lee Brown) giving us his thoughts and recommendations, and sharing his expertise.” — Oliver Baines, chairman, Fresno Police Reform Commission
“This is a great win for Fresno,” Baines said. “Dr. Brown is considered the father of community-based policing. We’re truly fortunate to have him giving us his thoughts and recommendations, and sharing his expertise.”
Deep Ties to Fresno
Brown’s ties to Fresno run deep. He grew up in Fowler and graduated from Fresno State in 1960 with a criminology degree. Beginning as a patrol officer in San Jose, Brown went on to lead police departments in Atlanta, Houston, and New York City. He also served as President Clinton’s drug czar and is a former three-term mayor of Houston.
Brown has a master’s degree in sociology from San Jose State and a master’s and a doctorate in criminology from UC Berkley.
Began Community Policing in Houston
“I was chatting with him about how community policing evolved,” said Baines, a former Fresno police officer and city councilman. “It was an amazing story of trial and error. He was doing this with police departments more than 30 years ago, and it was very unpopular with the departments. He was such a visionary developing what now is considered the standard in policing.”
As public safety commissioner of Atlanta from 1978 to 1982, Brown and his staff oversaw the investigation of the Atlanta Child Murders case and increased the hiring of African American officers. He resigned that position to become Houston’s first African American police chief. While in Houston, Brown implemented community policing.
In the late 1980s, Brown entered politics and became Houston’s first African American mayor.
Police Reform Commission Members Announced
Fresno Mayor Lee Brown and other city officials announced the names of the reform commission’s 37 members at a 2 p.m. news conference today at City Hall.
The commission includes residents, advocates, and experts on public safety and community policing. It is tasked with making reform recommendations to the Fresno City Council within 90 days.
“This task force is made up of leaders from a diverse collection of stakeholder communities and will put their voices at the center of our in-depth and vital conversations about the future of policing in the city of Fresno,” said Fresno Mayor Lee Brand. ‘’The focus of our discussions will be centered on developing solutions for real and sustained change that make Fresno a better, safer place for all.”
Council president Miguel Arias said, “While this commission’s work will be extremely difficult, our community deserves nothing less than our best collaboration. The commission is representative of our diversity and the communities most impacted by public safety. We are honored that they have accepted the call to serve as we take action to improve public safety for our whole city.”
Oliver Baines, chair
D’Aungillique Jackson – president, Fresno State NAACP
Sandra Celedon, executive director, Fresno Building Healthy Communities
Greg Garner, retired Selma police chief
Mariah Thompson, National Lawyers Guild
Todd Frazier, president, Fresno Police Officers Association
Aaron Foster, Faith in the Valley
Ron Manning, sergeant, Fresno Police Department
Bob Mitchell, community leader
Ashley Rojas, executive director, Fresno Barrios Unidos
Michael S. Reid JD, MBA, deputy chief, Fresno Police Department
Luisa Medina, community member
Scott Baly, Fresno County Public Defender’s Office
Angie Isaak, retired Fresno Police Officer
Dr. Joseph Jones, president, Fresno Pacific University
Deep Singh, Jakara Movement
Efrain Botello, Boys and Men of Color
Mark Salazar, captain, Fresno Police Department
Brian King, Fresno EOC Street Saints
Annalisa Perea, trustee, State Center Community College
Dr. James Pitts, Fresno State Criminology professor
Gloria Hernandez, community advocate
Mai Thao, civic engagement director, Hmong Innovating Politics
Grisanti Valencia, Youth Organize California
Pastor DJ Criner, Saint Rest Baptist Church
Pastor BT Lewis, Rising Star Church
Keisha Thomas, trustee, Fresno Unified School District
Veva Islas, trustee, Fresno Unified School District
Marcel Woodruff, Faith in the Valley
Phil Cooley, deputy chief, Fresno Police Department
Adrian Jones, chair, Fresno Housing Authority
Brandon Dixon-James, financial advisor
Rev. Simon Biasell, Woven Community, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Rod Wade Jr., United Fresno
John Leal, trustee, State Center Community College District
Gail Gaston, community advocate
Robert H. Oliver, retired judge