The president of Fresno’s police union lost his bid to remain leader of the group representing more than 1,000 officers.
In a vote held last Friday among Fresno Police Officers’ Association membership, Brandon Wiemiller defeated Todd Frazier for the top post. Wiemiller will be sworn in on Nov. 12.
Wiemiller, a 17-year veteran of the department, serves as an instructor at the training facility and works in SWAT operations.
“Overall, I just felt like I wanted to make FPOA more member focused where it otherwise may not have been,” Wiemiller said.
Frazier served one two-year term and has long been a member of FPOA leadership. He also was a member of the Fresno Commission on Police Reform, casting the lone no vote to approve the group’s final report.
“It is what it is. We support the members,” Frazier said on Monday. “I’m a firm believer things happen for a reason. But make no mistake, the new leadership will have some challenges ahead.”
Make FPOA Great Again
Wiemiller campaigned under the theme of “Make the FPOA Great Again.”
He said the slogan was satirical based on the Donald Trump catchphrase. Wiemiller looks forward to working with Mayor-elect Jerry Dyer, who was chief of police for 18 years before retiring last year.
“I think communication is key. I think that’s how we develop understanding between everyone. I think that’s where the greatest learning takes place, is when everyone’s truly willing to listen and working toward the common goal and willing to actually entertain other people’s points of view,” Wiemiller said.
Frazier took the loss in stride.
“We’ve been great. We’re going to get nothing but better,” Frazier said.
Frazier reflected on why the membership advocated for a change.
“They have taken on this kind of a tone of the nation. There’s change underfoot. A lot of members wanted some specific change. Maybe they don’t know what they want specifically right at the moment, but they just wanted to maybe a new direction, maybe a younger, more vibrant leadership. And we support that. I’m not down in the dumps about it. I support whatever they want to do,” Frazier said.
Frazier said he will speak with Chief Andy Hall about returning to the uniformed beat. Prior to taking the FPOA presidency, Frazier worked in homicide and robbery.
It is custom for the FPOA president to work that position full-time and not regular police duty.
In addition to Wiemiller winning the presidency of the FPOA, membership elected two new vice presidents. Jordan Wamhoff and Stephen Latham won the first- and second-vice president positions respectively. Neither incumbent ran for those leadership roles.
Past President: Tough Times Ahead
Damon Kurtz, who preceded Frazier as president, says the anti-police climate may have motivated membership to vote for a change.
“It’s a microcosm of what we’re seeing nationally. I think folks in general are upset with the status quo and that officers in general, the morale is fairly chilling and feeling fairly unappreciated for the jobs they do with the negatives coming both nationally and from our own city council,” Kurtz said. “It’s not necessarily about Todd. I think it’s going to be a challenging role.”
Kurtz is currently the vice president of the Police Officers Research Association in California, a state-wide professional group.