I asked Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer today if he had a response to two recommendations in police auditor Rick Rasmussen's third quarter 2014 report. I reviewed Rasmussen's report in the previous blog, posted about 30 minutes ago.
Here is Dyer's email:
"I agree with the recommendation to allow officers to have more discretion when deciding to tow a vehicle if that vehicle can be turned over to a responsible party who is able to legally operate it. That direction has been given to our officers. Unless there is an unrealistic time an officer must wait for a responsible party to respond or in circumstances that the vehicle is needed pursuant to the investigation. The other exception is when the vehicle is being operated by a person with a suspended license for DUI and continues to drive the vehicle. I do agree that when officers use discretion whether that involves towing a vehicle or issuing a citation there is an increased likelihood we will have better relations with members of the community as long it is done on a consistent basis and for the right reasons. However, as always there may be the perception that preferential treatment is being given in certain cases which is why we strive for consistency.
"In terms of the body worn cameras, I also agree that the need for these in law enforcement is great due to the erosion of trust, the need for increased transparency and to get to the truth of the matter. In the case Rick alluded to, absent a body worn camera there would not have been resolution and the officer would not be able to clear his name. This is why we are holding a news conference tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 to talk about our initial deployment of 100 cameras and plans to equip over 400 uniformed officers with body worn cameras over the next 8 to 10 months."