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Fresno Leaders React To Keith Foster Report

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  Fresno’s Police auditor is recommending seven changes at the department to prevent criminal behavior among their officers. The changes are being made in the wake of the arrest of a Deputy Chief on drug trafficking charges.

Former Deputy Chief Keith Foster is one of seven people accused in a scheme to traffic heroin, oxycodone, and marijuana.

The auditor’s seven recommendations are intended to prevent any more incidents like it.

Police auditor Rick Rasmussen says some of the recommendations include additional training on ethics, more scrutiny of hiring and promotions, and a top to bottom independent review of every police unit.

“It seems very obvious and to a certain degree it is. I haven’t invented anything new here. What I have done is a back to basics approach,” Rasmussen said.

Other recommendations include requiring financial disclosures from officers seeking to become supervisors and reminding police to notify their boss if they appear in court.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearingin hopes the changes will restore a measure of confidence in the force….

“But why not add some additional layers of protection so that the public knows this department is will to do whatever it takes to maintain and improve the trust the public has put in them,” Swearingin said.

Swearingin said it could take up to two years to complete the external review.

Jeffrey Hess is a reporter and Morning Edition news host for Valley Public Radio. Jeffrey was born and raised in a small town in rural southeast Ohio. After graduating from Otterbein University in Columbus, Ohio with a communications degree, Jeffrey embarked on a radio career. After brief stops at stations in Ohio and Texas, and not so brief stops in Florida and Mississippi, Jeffrey and his new wife Shivon are happy to be part Valley Public Radio.
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