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Jun 19

An Open Letter to Mayor Ashley Swearengin

Fresno City HallCENTRAL CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE

June 19, 2014
Mayor Ashley Swearengin
2600 Fresno St.
Fresno CA 93721

Dear Mayor Swearengin:
The Office of Independent Review (OIR), managed by Rick Rasmussen, has shown via its quarterly reports steady improvements in Fresno Police Department behavior. Improvements include fewer police shots being fired, a reduction in citizen complaints, a reduction in the time it takes for reports to be submitted to the OIR by the Department, and improved sensitivity to the great ethnic makeup of Fresno. The new brochure being distributed by the OIR clearly explains the rights of citizens to have their complaints investigated when they feel they have been mistreated by the Police Department. The statement on the pamphlet says it all: “Enhancing
public trust and strengthening community-police relations.” Additionally, our committee wishes to
acknowledge the efficiency of the OIR’s assistant, Erika Lopez, who is a quick responder to any
questions, speaking engagements or other requests we submit to her.

While we fully support the work being done by Mr. Rasmussen, we are also aware that he could
do an even better job if he had investigative powers similar to those possessed by police
auditors in other communities. We believe that investigative powers for the OIR would further
improve public trust in the Department.
The creation of the OIR was a good first step and is working out well. We look forward to
working with the City to move on to the next level.
Gratefully yours,
Gerry Bill, co-chair
Rebeca Rangel, co-chair
Central California Criminal .Justice Committee
1584 N. Van Ness Ave. Fresno, CA 93728-1941 (559)408-
3320

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