Services and Special Units

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The Fresno Police Department includes a variety of Specialized Units and Services support the agency in a number of areas where expertise, specialized equipment and training are needed. These units, whether full time like Traffic, HEAT and Records; or collateral duty such as Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) or Specialized Weapons And Tactics (SWAT); are maintained within the Patrol, Support and Investigations Divisions.

Please take a few minutes to and follow the links to the “Specialized” Units above and learn more about how the Fresno Police Department is working to keep our community safe!

Internal Affairs

Internal Affairs Bureau effectively and efficiently investigates in a fair and unbiased manner allegations of misconduct by members of the Fresno Police Department in order to determine a basis for appropriate administrative response.

California law requires every police agency to have a procedure for investigating citizen complaints, and to have a written description of the procedure available for review. The law also stipulates that these internal investigations, reports, and findings shall be retained for at least five years. Internal investigations are administrative investigations, which are civil in nature, and not criminal. Criminal investigations differ in that they are designed to determine violations of law, administrative investigations deal with the question of compliance or noncompliance with Departmental rules, policies, and regulations. Citizens have a right to expect fair and impartial treatment from law enforcement personnel. Therefore, it is imperative that any police misconduct be reported and corrected as quickly as possible.

All complaints are initially reviewed by a supervisor. If the complaint cannot be resolved or the supervisor believes misconduct may have occurred, the complaint will be thoroughly investigated. The accused officer’s supervisor will typically handle the initial receipt of complaint by interviewing the complainant. Allegations of misconduct which are serious in nature, i.e., excessive force or criminal acts committed by a police department member, are usually investigated by the IA Bureau after the initial receipt of complaint is taken.

Investigation Process

The Internal Affairs Bureau consists of a secretary, five investigator sergeants, and one lieutenant. Once a complaint has been forwarded to the IA Bureau, a thorough investigation is conducted. The IA sergeant will typically retrieve police reports, medical records, photographs, and other physical evidence if available. The sergeant will interview witnesses and the accused officer(s) and may also re-interview the complainant if needed. The sergeant will prepare a detailed administrative report which outlines his/her investigation. Staff officers in the accused officer’s chain of command then review the investigation report for completeness and thoroughness. If the investigation determines that employee misconduct occurred, the Chief of Police or designated staff officer will determine the appropriate discipline or corrective action. Police department employees may receive training or may be counseled, reprimanded, fined, suspended or terminated, depending on the degree of misconduct and the disciplinary history of the employee.

Once the investigation is completed, the police department will mail the complainant a letter advising them of the investigation’s findings. However, California State law prohibits disclosure of what discipline the employee received. If the investigation takes longer than thirty days to complete, the Department will notify the complainant of the status of the investigation, and keep them updated every thirty days thereafter until the completion of the case.

Lodge a Complaint

To lodge a personnel complaint against a member of the Fresno Police Department, a citizen may complete and mail in a citizen complaint form provided in PDF format.

Citizen Complaint Brochures

Citizen Complaint Forms

Fresno Police Department
2323 Mariposa | 8 AM–5 PM

Request a mail-in complaint form
Write or call:

Fresno Police Department
Internal Affairs, P.O. Box 1271
Fresno, CA 93715-1271

Mail-in complaint forms
Pick up a mail-in complaint form at one of the following locations:

City of Fresno Office of Independent Review
2440 Tulare Street, Suite 100
Fresno, CA 93721

Hinton Community Center
2385 S. Fairview | 8 AM–5 PM

Sal Mosqueda Community Center
4760 E. Butler | 8 AM–5 PM

Ted C. Wills Community Center
770 N. San Pablo | 8 AM–5 PM

Stone Soup Fresno
1345 E. Bulldog Lane | M-SAT, 9 AM-5 PM

Fresno City Hall,
City Manager’s Office,
2600 Fresno Street

Records Front Counter — Police Department Headquarters
2323 Mariposa

DUI Educational Program

In an effort to reduce violations and collisions before they occur, the Department continues its focus on education as part of its overall traffic safety plan. The traffic bureau established partnerships with community-based organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) local school districts and various civic groups.

DUI education programs include “Reality Check Scenarios” and “Every 15 minutes Operations,” which are live Theatrical Plays. The Traffic Bureau partnered with M.A.D.D. and spearheaded a community-wide effort to have our own impaired driver crashed car exhibit.

This crashed car exhibit was the first in the nation to be built solely with community donations and display a DUI victim’s vehicle instead of a suspect’s or rely on government grants. The $ 50,000 dollar trailer is shown at local schools, public events, and most DUI checkpoint operations. The trailer is a highly sought after educational tool by valley agencies and is in constant demand by valley agencies.

The bureau also took over the court sanctioned, first time DUI offender program with the appropriately named “Scared Stiff.” The class room instruction for first time DUI offenders has a number of dynamic speakers who let them know the real cost of a DUI. In May of 2008, an audit of the class was done. With over 2,000 students have attended the instruction, only 42 have been re-arrested for impaired driving!

A seat belt restraint system was not used in 42% of fatal collisions in 2003, and has been reduced to 22% in 2007. Taking a few seconds to buckle up is one of the most important things a person can do to save lives. The Fresno Police Department has also established effective educational and enforcement campaigns to help educate the public on this concept. As a result, the City of Fresno has posted a record high 96% seat belt compliance rate, well above the national average of 83%.

K9 Unit

The K9 Unit was established in 1993 and originally consisted of 8 officers and their newly selected K9 partners. Today, the team consists of 14 officers and K9s, a number that allows the team to provide it’s much needed 24/7 coverage to the City of Fresno. Thirteen of the K9s are patrol certified and 1 K9 is a narcotic detection only K9. Each of the patrol K9s are trained to meet specific patrol needs, including tracking, evidence location, officer protection and suspect apprehension. Seven of the 13 K9 teams are cross trained in narcotics detection while another 3 K9 teams are cross trained in explosive detection.

The K9 Unit was established in 1993 and originally consisted of 8 officers and their newly selected K9 partners. Today, the team consists of 14 officers and K9s, a number that allows the team to provide it’s much needed 24/7 coverage to the City of Fresno. Thirteen of the K9s are patrol certified and 1 K9 is a narcotic detection only K9. Each of the patrol K9s are trained to meet specific patrol needs, including tracking, evidence location, officer protection and suspect apprehension. Seven of the 13 K9 teams are cross trained in narcotics detection while another 3 K9 teams are cross trained in explosive detection.

K9 Officers in our Department are not assigned to a specific Patrol District or beat. This is done in order to ensure the availability of their specialized resource. The K9 officers are utilized every day, assisting patrol and other Department specialized units with warrant arrests, crimes in progress, building searches, suspect tracking, evidence location, high-risk vehicle stops and narcotic searches. In 2013, members of the Unit were directly involved in the arrest of 489 suspects (through tracking, placating, etc), responded to 1,086 alarm calls, performed 94 article searches and located 10 firearms used in crimes.

In 2013, the K9 Unit certified 6 of our dogs in narcotic detection. The K9s were trained to detect the odors of methamphetamine, cocaine, opium, heroin and marijuana. Since their certification, the narcotic K9s have been requested to conduct 149 searches.

Response to K9 requests for patrol service is our top priority, however members of the team do find the time to attending K9 demonstrations and community “meet and greets”. The Unit has tremendous community support and contributes this to our willingness to interact with the public. On a near weekly basis, members of the Unit have found themselves talking to a wide variety of community members in all types of venues including school children in Kindergarten to career fairs on Fresno State University’s campus, service clubs, Farmer’s Market and the Big Fresno Fair.

Regional K9 Trials

To augment training with new challenges throughout the year, members of the unit are encouraged to participate in regional K9 trials. Performing in front of crowds and allied agency peers truly challenges the Officer to step up and put their best foot forward. Most Officers participate in one to two trials each year. In 2013, members of the Unit participated in several trials, including the following:

  • 28th Annual Sierra K9 Trials in Visalia
    • “Top Dog” – Officer Tushnet & K9 Kubo
    • Agitator’s Choice Award – Officer Sturgeon & K9 Jack
  • 2013 Kingsburg K9 Trials
    • “Top Dog” – Officer Sturgeon & K9 Jack
    • 1st Place, Open Division – Officer Young & K9 Flurk
    • 1st Place, Novice Division – Officer Freer and K9 Cash
    • “Top Team” – Officer Young/K9 Flurk & Officer

We, the officers of the Fresno Police Department’s K9 Unit truly enjoy the work we do. We view this assignment as the privilege it really is…never taking it or our K9 partners for granted.

Mounted Patrol

The Fresno Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit was established in 1999. In partnership with Citizen’s for a Safer Fresno, a barn was built and horses purchased and trained. The Unit began with six horses and six full time officers. The Mounted Unit teams deployed throughout the city providing support to Patrol and participating in community events. In 2010, due to budget restraints, the decision was made to disband the Unit. Community support for the continuation of the Unit was tremendous however, and through gracious donations our Unit was able to continue to operate! Since 2010, our Unit has continued to remain a community resource funded solely through community donations.

Currently, the Fresno Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit is only one of a few left remaining in the San Joaquin Valley. You may have seen us at the Farmers’ Market in River Park, Grizzlies Stadium during baseball season, patrolling the various shopping centers during Operation Christmas Presence, working Mardi Gras in the Tower District, conducting presentations for Fresno, Clovis and Fresno County school children or proudly marching in one of the many Fresno parades!

The Mounted Patrol Unit consists of 4 certified patrol horses and 1 horse currently in training. All of our horses and riders must successfully complete a rigorous 40 hour P.O.S.T. certified course, where they are challenged with equitation, squad formations, crowd control and patrol operations scenarios. Upon completion of the course, all officers must attend monthly trainings to maintain riding and operational proficiencies.

All of the horses used in the Unit are the Standardbred breed, ranging in age from 8-19 years old.

Membership in the Unit is made up of sworn officers, reserve police officers and C.O.P.s. The full time officers are assigned to other duties (patrol/investigations/K9/etc) and the Mounted Patrol Unit is an auxiliary/voluntary assignment for them. There are currently 7 full time officers, 5 reserve officers and 3 C.O.P.’s/Volunteers.

The Mounted Patrol Unit is always seeking new members/volunteers. Potential applicants can contact Sergeant Bill Dooley at [email protected] for further information.

For those seeking to assist the Unit through donations, all donations go directly to our non-profit partner, the FPNWA, an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit 100% of donations will go solely to the ongoing care, training and equipping of our loyal horses.

What type of horses do you ride?

Our horses are Standard bred. The Standard bred is often described as “honest”. He is robust, plain, rugged, capable of performing any job, and he is one of the equine world’s best kept secrets. Not only is he the fastest racing breed in harness, he also excels off the racetrack. He is a medium-build horse, ranging in size from 14.2 to 17.2 hands and weighing 900 to 1,200 pounds. He is a willing partner in most endeavors and enjoys human companionship.

How old are the horses?

Our horses are six and seven years old and they are all geldings.

Can the horses see as well as we do?

A horse’s vision is one of the best of any mammal. Their eyes are supersensitive to tiny movement very far away and highly sensitive to sudden movement. A horses range of vision is nearly 340 degrees and can see a distance of over a quarter mile.

Do horses have good hearing?

Yes, horses have a much keener sense of hearing than people. Their ears swivel continuously from front to back (180 degrees) which catch sounds from all directions.

Citizens for a Safer Fresno County

Citizens For A Safer Fresno County is a group of local business people dedicated to meeting the needs of local law enforcement. It is a grassroots not-for-profit organization that has undertaken major projects such as Operation Skywatch and Operation Mounted Patrol. Both projects provide resources to both the Fresno Police Department and Fresno County Sheriff’s Department so that helicopters, horses, and related equipment could be purchased for both agencies. Citizens For A Safer Fresno County has been so successful that it has brought together businesses, government, private individuals and schools in a public safety effort that has captured the attention of law enforcement agencies throughout the State of California and beyond.

The good work of Citizens For A Safer Fresno County continues with the ongoing provision of equipment to local law enforcement. Stepping up again, Citizens For A Safer Fresno has lent its support to an effort to obtain over $1,000,000 in funding from the State of California for a regional peace officer’s training facility.

Street Violence Unit

The Street Violence Section is comprised of the Homicide Unit, Robbery/Felony Assault Unit, the plain clothes Tactical Team, and the Night Detective Unit. Investigators in these units work around the clock to provide an immediate and focused response to violent crimes committed in our City.

When a Violent Crime Occurs, the Night Detective Unit or Felony Assault Unit is usually the first investigative unit to respond. They begin by accelerating the tempo of the investigation. They coordinate the response of other units (Homicide, Tactical team, etc). The result is a coordinated investigative response where the case will get solved or investigative tactics are developed to diffuse the situation. When a suspect is identified, the Tactical team, who specialize in surveillance techniques and tactics, are called in to quickly apprehend the suspect(s).

One of the strengths has been the gang expertise in each SVS unit and how this expertise was used to solve high profile cases, conduct search warrant operations and recover firearms. This we believe played a role in our crime reduction efforts.

The key in solving these high profile cases has been the focus of the detectives and the speed in solving violent crimes. This approach has led a record setting Homicide clearance rate of 90% in 2013.


It is the philosophy of the Fresno Police Department that in order to reduce incidents of impaired or dangerous driving, we have to change behavior and guide people to make the right decisions. Social change requires time and a sustained effort. We believe that combining both education and an unwavering enforcement effort to hold people accountable for their actions is effective in reaching our goal for social change.

In 2001, when Mayor Jerry Dyer became the Fresno Police Department’s 21st Police Chief, he had a renewed vision for the department’s Traffic Bureau. Prior to Chief Dyer’s appointment, fatal traffic collisions consistently outnumbered homicides on an annual basis. Chief Dyer recognized that although all homicides are tragic and unacceptable, a majority of these incidents were attributed to poor lifestyle choices, such as being involved in gangs or drugs. In regards to traffic fatalities, innocent families are stricken, simply because they undertake the privilege of driving on our roadways; a privilege we all take for granted and one we believe will never end in tragedy. For this reason, in 2002, Chief Dyer made a commitment to change driving behaviors and took the approach that collisions are not “accidents,” but are in fact preventable.

Over the past 13 years, our department has made remarkable advancements towards our goal of zero deaths on our roadways. The Traffic Bureau has implemented cutting edge technology in the form of electronic ticket writers and data gathering software. We continue to be heavily involved in educational efforts that are geared not only towards combating impaired driving at the adult level, but at teen drivers as well. We recognize that although it is extremely important to educate drivers on the dangers of impaired driving, we also understand that it is equally important to focus on the hazards of distracted driving and the importance of keeping all vehicle occupants safe.   To this end, the Traffic Bureau devotes countless hours to educating our drivers on the importance of not allowing anything to distract them while driving, the proper installation of safety seats, and the proper use of seatbelts.

Although technology and education are extremely important, we know that another major component in reaching our goal is enforcement. Since the implementation of Chief Dyer’s new vision, we have made nearly 39,000 arrests for impaired driving and have issued over 650,000 citations.

Despite making these tremendous gains, there have been times when we have suffered some setbacks. Our department was not immune from the economic recession in 2008. We experienced significant reductions in both civilian and sworn staff, which greatly impacted our productivity and reduced the time we could devote to our educational efforts. Despite experiencing some years with an increase in collisions from the previous year’s our resolve has not wavered. We continue towards our goal of keeping people safe on our roadways.

In 2015, our department investigated 30 fatalities, which is a staggering reduction of 42% from 2002. Of the 30 fatalities in 2015, there were a total of 12 pedestrian deaths. We recognized an increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2010, at which time we began to aggressively target these violations. Our aggressive enforcement paid off last year, as we saw 30% reduction in pedestrian deaths from 2014. In 2015, we conducted 12 pedestrian operations throughout the city, targeting pedestrian violations during both daytime and nighttime hours.

DUI Enforcement

Last year, our DUI enforcement index was an impressive 14.5%. This is almost two times better than NHTSA’s guidelines of 25% for being a proactive agency. Of our total 2,786 DUI arrests in 2015, only 405 stemmed from an arrest at a DUI collision.

The Fresno Police Department’s Traffic Bureau continues the relentless pursuit of DUI drivers in our city.   Through a variety of DUI education and enforcement programs designed to eradicate DUI drivers from our streets, the Fresno Police Department made 2,786 DUI arrests last year.

Fresno Remains the Safest Large City in California

Traffic safety is a compilation of numerous separate efforts reflected in our statistics.  The sheer volume is impressive.  We issued 54,542 traffic citations in 2015.  Of those 9,582 were for speeding and 2,106 were for occupant protection violations.  We cited 6,257 unlicensed drivers, 3,734 suspended drivers, and 2,760 distracted drivers.

An effective traffic safety program also has a significant impact on crime reduction.  Traffic officers arrested 307 felony suspects and seized 19 guns last year.  As a result, the Traffic Bureau is a major part of most large scale crime suppression operations in the city.

What is truly amazing is that in a city of over half a million people, only five of our fatalities in 2015 were attributed to the traditional vehicle versus vehicle collision.  The significance regarding this fact is that the chances of a citizen within our community who legally drives a car, wears their seatbelt, and obeys traffic laws, becoming involved in a fatal collision are extremely rare.

The Chief of Police and the men and women of the Fresno Police Department will continue with their commitment to make traffic safety one of the highest priorities for our department, as we continue to work towards our goal of zero deaths on or roadways.

TOTAL COLLISIONS2,8012,7432,8253,017
INJURY COLLISIONS1,1991,1991,1581,131
DUI COLLISIONS350314443405
INJURY DUI80839395
DUI ARRESTS3,2632,6932,8622,786

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (EOD)

The Fresno Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit safely protects the residents of Fresno from any type of hazardous device that could be harmful. The EOD Unit is dedicated to training and maintaining safe, professional, well-equipped explosive ordnance technicians.

The Fresno Police Department’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (EOD) was created in 1974, and has had a long-distinguished history, rising from the inspiration of a few unique individuals who were determined to establish a bomb squad to meet the needs of a growing city. From handmade tools and perseverance, a modern, accredited squad with state-of-the-art equipment has emerged.

After completing the reorganization and expansion of the Unit from two to six technicians in 1999, an explosives bunker with bank-like security was constructed and dedicated. Advanced preparation paid off, and the Unit was able to assist during the tragedy of September 11, 2001, going full time as the City’s first Anti-Terrorism Unit. Approximately one year later, with Homeland Security matters developed, the members of the Unit returned to their primary duties: remaining on-call to handle a myriad of hazardous devices.

Some of the Unit’s most recent advancements include a new, technologically advanced robot, increased detection and disruption capabilities, and a state-of-the-art total containment vehicle. The Unit has taken on roles never envisioned, with the threat of biological, chemical, and radiological improvised devices in our future. Homicide bombers, large vehicle-borne bombs, international airport safety, target hardening, dignitary protection, hazardous materials, and education are just a few disciplines that require technicians to train constantly and remain ever-vigilant.

The Fresno Police Department’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit remains focused to face the challenges of a world thrown into uncertainty with the ever-present threat of terrorism.

Violence Intervention & Community Engagement

The Violence Intervention & Community Services Unit (VICS), formerly known as the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Initiative, was established in 2006. It is a comprehensive multidimensional community engagement and violence reduction strategy under the umbrella of the Fresno Police Department. With the ever changing community issues the unit’s goal is to respond to the fluctuating needs of the community by providing high-quality engagement, and services to the diverse population of Fresno.

The objective is to minimize violence in our community by increasing collaborative efforts and provide support for our youth and families through partnerships.

In an effort to reduce the amount of gang-related crime throughout the City of Fresno, the unit incorporates the following violence reduction and community engagement strategies and core components.

  • Services Referrals: The VICS staff facilitates direct services to eligible individuals identified in needs intake to existing local community agencies that focus on prevention, intervention, rehabilitation, and economic development. This coordinated approach through grassroots organizing and public/private partnerships, allow the VICS to reinforce local best practices. Service providers meet on a quarterly basis. These programs include needs intake, job training, job placement, employment referrals, substance abuse, anger management, mental health, education, food, housing, mentoring, dental, vision, medical, mentoring, youth activities, tattoo removal and other basic life skill services.To be eligible for VICS assistance, an individual:
    • Must reside within the City of Fresno.
    • Must have a direct tie to a gang (validated, associate or “wanna-be”) and desire to voluntarily leave the gang lifestyle.
    • Identify as a Human Trafficking victim.
    • Cannot have pending warrants and/or court cases.
    • Cannot be a registered sex offender nor have disqualifying offenses as determined by VICS.
  • VICS Advisory Board: Board members meet on a quarterly base throughout the city. Members include representatives from local law enforcement, juvenile & adult criminal justice system, education, health, community member, faith community and social services entities. The Advisory Board evaluates emerging trends that address the gang population, facilitate interagency collaboration, troubleshooting, and assist where possible in the progression of the VICS unit strategies, including the review of current, future and potential resource opportunities.

A variety of federal, state and private foundation grants, violence reduction and community engagement projects are administered and supported by VICS. Projects include community outreach and engagement efforts as follows:

  • Tattoo Removal: In collaboration with local Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission clinic, treatment is offered to VICS enrolled participants demonstrating a sincere commitment to change their lives. Visible gang related and or human trafficking brand tattoos may inhibit their ability to gain employment or transition into a healthier lifestyle. Participants receive treatment in exchange for performing community service.
  • Community Outreach & Engagement: Bringing Broken Neighborhoods Back to Life goal is to build bridges of resources to community residents living in neighborhoods directly affected by gang violence. The objective is to host community events in gang infested neighborhoods during the spring and summer months. This community collaboration of service providers, FPD, and faith-based organizations meet 40 times a year every Tuesday planning events within the southern part of the city.
  • Hispanic Residents Academy: The primary purpose of the Hispanic Residents Academy (H.R.A.) is to better acquaint Spanish-speaking community members with how the Fresno Police Department works and resource services available to the public. In collaboration with the Fresno Unified School District Parent University Program the H.R.A. is a mobile academy conducted twice a year within the community in each policing district. Participants have the opportunity to dialogue with academy instructors who include Officers, Detectives, Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains and Deputy Chiefs. All participating residents make a commitment of 13 consecutive weeks, one day a week for two hours. Instructors provide an overview of various units and the responsibilities within the FPD. All classes are conducted in Spanish, and at times, using translation equipment.  Daycare is also provided as needed.

If you would like more information you can call the VICS hotline at (559) 621-2353 or Email at [email protected]


The Fresno Police Department’s Air Support Unit provides aerial support to the Field Operations Division of the Fresno Police Department. Limited air support is provided to other units, departments, or agencies as needed within the sphere of Fresno.

Air Support Unit-Skywatch

2015 was the eighteen-year anniversary for the Fresno Police Department’s Air Support Unit and its helicopter patrol service. After starting in 1996 with three piston-driven helicopters, the unit has truly evolved. The Air Support Unit is the Department’s “Force Multiplier,” which results in law abiding citizens feeling more secure and ground officers having a significantly increased sense of security in tactical situations. Through this unit, police supervisors have a pursuit management tool which allows ground units to reduce speeds and distance themselves from pursued vehicles, reducing the potential for hazard arising from high-speed pursuits.

The Air Support Unit currently utilizes two Airbus 120 turbine helicopters. The Air Unit has logged over 12,164 accident-free flight hours in the turbine powered helicopters and a total of 26,102 accident-free helicopter flight hours since 1996.
Both helicopters are fully equipped with airborne law enforcement equipment such as: FLIR (Forward Looking Infra Red–a combined aircraft mounted video and infra red camera system), a 30 million candle power Night Sun searchlight, MDS computer, Aerocomputer Moving Map (combing 5 various topographical maps, aeronautical charts, parcel map, GPS navigational aide, etc), along with ProNet and Lo Jack receivers.

The Skywatch helicopters continue to play a major role in reducing the Fresno Police Department’s overall police response times by posting an average response time of less than a minute, 39 seconds overall to be exact. In the year 2015 the Skywatch helicopters achieved a goal of arriving first-on-scene to calls 65% of the time and able to cancel 285 ground units. Skywatch continues to increase flight hours as the economy continues to improve. Aircrews were able to recover $313,254.00 in stolen property in 2015 due to the increased flight hours. The Air Support Unit prides itself on its continued support of Fresno Police Department personnel and ultimately for providing a much needed blanket of security to the citizens and police officers of Fresno.

Unit Personnel

Skywatch currently has one sworn Police Sergeant Helicopter Pilot, one civilian Chief Pilot, two sworn Police Helicopter Command Pilots, two sworn Police Helicopter Tactical Flight Officers, and two civilian mechanics.


The Fresno Police Department SWAT Team supports the Fresno Police Department with a tactical response to critical incidents.

The SWAT team responds to such critical incidents as:

  • Hostage Situations
  • Barricaded Armed Subjects
  • Sniper Situations
  • Aircraft Hijackings
  • High Risk Warrant Service
  • Personal Protection (Dignitaries or People in Danger)
  • Special Assignments by Chief of Police

History of SWAT

Since 1974, the Fresno Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) has provided a ready response to situations that were beyond the capabilities of normally equipped and trained Department members. During this time the Fresno SWAT Team has affected the arrest of hundreds of violent criminals and received scores of commendations.

The SWAT Team was established in response to an increasing number of incidents involving armed suspects who had the desire to engage officers as well as the ability and equipment to do so. This point was sadly proven when Sergeant Sal Mosqueda stopped his patrol car in front of a residence unknown to him to be occupied by two suspects that had just committed an armed robbery. Sergeant Mosqueda was killed and the subsequent firefight between the suspects and responding officers resulted in the suspect’s death and the destruction of the house after hundreds of rounds from all types of weapons were fired. The Fresno Police Department recognized the need for a formally trained group of officers to respond to critical types of incidents like the one that took Sergeant Mosqueda’s life.
The first SWAT team consisted of six members. These members received training from the FBI at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. The SWAT team is currently staffed by 30 members, which include a Team Commander (Lieutenant), Assistant Team Commander (Lieutenant), four Team Leaders (Sergeants) and twenty-four operators. The team is broken down into three different elements which include, entry, containment and snipers. We are fortunate to have several support elements in place to assist our team during call outs. These support elements consist of seven “bus crew” members, four American Ambulance STAR Rescue Paramedics, and our own trauma surgeon.

Selection and Training

Officers interested in becoming a SWAT Team member must have at least four years of experience as a police officer before they can participate in the testing process. The selection process consists of two different phases. The first phase consists of an evaluation of the candidate’s physical fitness and firearms skills. The second phase consists of two separate oral interviews where candidates are evaluated on leadership, department policy, use of force and other questions that test the officer’s decision making ability.

After selection and assignment, new team members are required to attend an 80 hour, POST certified, basic SWAT school before they are allowed to deploy on call-out’s as a team member. Team members take part in 20 hours of training per month. This training focuses on firearms training, sniper/counter sniper operations, building/open area searches, hostage rescue, chemical munitions deployment, dignitary protection, rural operations, land navigation, helicopter operations as well as other team building exercises.

Records and Reports

View Records and Reports