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Fresno Police Chief Under Investigation. Remains on Job.
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 3 weeks ago on
June 6, 2024

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama is under City Hall investigation. (GV Wire File)

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Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama is under a City Hall investigation but will remain on the job, Mayor Jerry Dyer’s administration said in a Thursday news release.

“In February of 2024 Mayor Jerry Dyer and City Manager Georgeanne White were informed by Police Chief Paco Balderrama that an allegation would likely be made against him related to an inappropriate off-duty relationship he was involved in with a non-city employee. The City commenced an administrative investigation utilizing an independent investigator retained by the City Attorney’s Office to determine if the police chief violated department policy. The investigation is in the review process. Chief Balderrama has served as the police chief for the past 3½ years and has been instrumental in rebuilding the ranks of the Fresno Police Department and dramatically lowering violent crime rates. Until the investigation is finalized and thoroughly reviewed, we ask that you reserve judgment in this confidential personnel matter. Chief Balderrama will remain on duty and continue to serve as Fresno Police Chief,” spokeswoman Sontaya Rose said in an email statement.

Balderrama has been chief since January 2021 and is credited for reducing violent crime in the city.

Balderrama and Dyer started their respective jobs in January 2021. Although Dyer did not hire Balderrama — the administration of prior Mayor Lee Brand did months earlier — the mayor has continuously publicly supported his chief. Dyer retired as police chief in 2019, with Andy Hall serving in the interim.

Screenshot taken from the Fresno City Council meeting on June 6, 2024. (Screenshot)

Moving to Fresno from Oklahoma City, where he served as a deputy chief, Balderrama helped grow the department to a current 960 funded sworn positions.

On Wednesday, Balderrama presented his budget to the city council. He received high praise from city councilmembers and City Manager Georgeanne White for reducing violent crime.

The police chief reports to the city manager, who makes such personnel decisions.

He concluded by thanking Dyer.

“Serving as chief has been a struggle at times. I’ve had a few nights where I’m like, what the heck did I get myself into? But I can tell you, it’s very rewarding to see the success of this police department. And you know, I can’t forget our mayor as well. You know, he told me a while back, I can’t give you a contract, but I gave you my word that as long as I’m mayor, you’re my guy. So, so far, so good. Thank you for your support. Can’t do it without you,” Balderrama said.

City Councilman Mike Karbassi told GV Wire he would have no comment until the investigation is completed.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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