Fresno

FACT CHECK: No, Fresno’s police budget is not $1.9 million.

As Fresno’s budget hearings are underway, reports from a local TV station surfaced claiming that Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama proposed a $1.9 million budget for the police department.

In reality, the department’s budget is astronomically higher. 

Balderrama proposed a $206.2 million budget on Tuesday. While it is the largest single pot of money in Fresno’s budget, it’s a 2.6 percent decrease from the 2021 amended budget. 

The $1.9 million total that was reported comes in additional general fund expenses, Balderrama said. 

That expansion is broken down as follows: 

  • $991,100 for additional employees (12 sworn officers, 19 civilians)
  • $488,100 for 64 new vehicles 
  • $58,800 for new field services equipment
  • $368,500 for Shotspotter expansion and contractual increases

Out of Balderrama’s total budget request, $193.7 million comes from the general fund. 

With 80 out of 779 police officers currently out on long-term absences, the police department is focused on bringing in additional officers. 

Balderrama said the goal is to hire 120 officers over the next 15 months, which accounts for additional spots and attrition. 

The City Council is expected to finalize the budget by the end of the month.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.