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Fresno PD, Madera Sheriff's Office Land Community Policing Grants
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By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 3 years ago on
October 6, 2021

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The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday the award of nearly $450,000 to the Fresno Police Department and the Madera County Sheriff’s Office for community-oriented policing efforts.

“The Fresno Police Department recognizes not only the necessity but the usefulness of De-escalation training with our personnel as we continue to strengthen our relationships and trust with the community we serve.” — Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama

Fresno PD will get $200,000 to train officers in de-escalation techniques and maintain those skills. The training teaches officers how to avoid ramping up confrontations.

The grant “will go to the creation and expansion of standalone De-Escalation classes which will include the use of virtual reality (VR) scenario-based training,” said Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama. “The overall goal is to increase our personnel’s knowledge base through three different avenues: policy, education, and training.

“The Fresno Police Department recognizes not only the necessity but the usefulness of De-escalation training with our personnel as we continue to strengthen our relationships and trust with the community we serve.”

A year ago, the state Legislature passed a law that requires de-escalation training for police.

That law came after San Francisco police implemented training that yielded a 24% decrease in the use of force in 2019 from 2018. According to a study involving the Louisville Metro Police Department, de-escalation techniques can significantly reduce use-of-force situations, as well as injuries to residents and officers.

Crisis Intervention Teams in Madera

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office will receive $249,903 for crisis intervention teams that embed mental and behavioral health services with deputies.

The DOJ awarded about $33 million in grants for law-enforcement agencies across the nation on Wednesday. The announcement of the grants coincides with National Community Policing Week.

“Keeping communities safe requires building relationships and increasing trust between law enforcement and those they serve,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in a news release. “The wide range of programs these funds will support – from de-escalation training and anti-bias efforts to technical assistance and accreditation programs – are critical to achieving our public safety goals.”

A complete list of the grants is at this link.

 

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Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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