Last week, Clovis Police Chief Curt Fleming sounded the alarm that the department was short-staffed and needed more financial support.
The department has 86 officers on patrol, 20 short of what is authorized. It could take $9.2 million to return the department to full strength of 156 officers in five years.
On Monday night, a former police chief proposed a public safety solution.
Retired chief Matt Bagsall spoke to the city council Monday about forming a citizens advisory committee to determine how to staff the department and how to pay for it.
“We don’t know when the next crisis might be,” Bagsall said about future funding. “It’s no secret that public safety is one of the reasons why people live in Clovis.”
The council agreed to create a 25-person committee — each councilmember will pick five members. A formal vote is likely to take place at a future meeting.
“We are not that small-town PD anymore,” Councilman Jose Flores — himself the police chief of the State Center Community College District — said.
One option the council floated was a tax to support public safety. What that tax would look like or when it could be on the ballot is to be determined.
Also in Politics 101:
- Arambula is honored by Mexico.
- Did Trump hold off on criticizing Valadao?
- How much will Fresno County receive in the opioid settlement?
Arambula Honored by Mexican Government
The Mexican government honored Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, awarding him with the Ohtli Award at a ceremony Friday at the consulate office in Fresno.
The consulate says the award “is the highest honor bestowed by the Government of Mexico to individuals … that have worked to improve the quality of life of Mexican countrymen and women and to help open ‘a path’ for future generations.”
“I was proud of the work that we did, working side by side during the food distributions and vaccine clinics, taking care of our rural farm working communities, and really believed that this award will go a long way towards helping us to open up paths and access for so many in our communities,” said Aramubla, D-Fresno.
Several previous Ohtli award recipients were on hand, including civil rights leader Dolores Huerta and Fresno State president Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval.
Trump Not Advocating Against Valadao, Yet
Entering into the dangerous world of interpreting Donald Trump’s emails: The former president listed names of Republican Congress members he wants to be challenged by other Republicans, but did not mention Rep. David Valadao by name.
“Any interest from good and SMART America First Republican Patriots to run primary campaigns against Representatives Tom Rice, John Katko, Don Bacon, Don Young, Fred Upton (challenge accepted), Andrew Garbarino, Peter Meijer (challenge accepted), David McKinley (challenge accepted), Nancy Mace, Jaime Herrera Beutler (challenge accepted) and Chris Smith? You will have my backing!” Trump wrote in an email to media on Nov. 13.
Missing from the list is Valadao, R-Hanford, who irked Trump and other GOP for his vote supporting the second impeachment last January.
Valadao faces several contenders in what is now the 21st congressional district, including former Fresno city councilman Chris Mathys — a Republican running to Valadao’s right.
The district lines are still being drawn by an independent state commission, due by Dec. 27.
County Share of Opioid Lawsuit: $22 Million
Fresno County expects to receive $17 million to $22 million over 18 years as part of the federal government’s settlement with Johnson & Johnson and other opioid distributors.
The figures were revealed in a Board of Supervisors document. The board approved submitting necessary documents as part of the litigation with a 5-0 vote on Tuesday.
Overall, the drug makers and distributors will pay $26 billion. California will receive $2.2. billion.
“While a small portion of these funds are available to reimburse past county expenses the bulk is restricted to expenditure on county opioid abatement and treatment purposes,” the staff report says.