The City of Fresno, CA is located in the heart of the state in the fertile San Joaquin Valley. From the agricultural fields on the valley floor to the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Fresno area offers something for everyone. The City of Fresno is seeking a dedicated, experienced professional with a balance of both strong leadership and well-rounded technical skills to serve as its Independent Reviewer. The ideal candidate will be highly motivated, organized, and detail-oriented, and capable of working independently to accomplish goals and meet established schedules and deadlines. An individual with a successful track record of establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with elected officials, City management and staff, representatives of community organizations, public and private agencies, as well as the general public is sought. Any combination of related experience and education as approved by the City Manager may be considered qualifying. Candidates must be experienced in and knowledgeable of police procedures, legal research, and analyzing criminal, constitutional, labor, and civil rights law. A law degree from an accredited college or university is desirable. The possession of a valid Class C California driver’s license may be required at time of appointment. The annual salary range for the Independent Reviewer is $95,808 – $134,820 and is dependent upon qualifications and experience.
The City of Fresno, CA is located in the heart of the state in the fertile San Joaquin Valley. From the agricultural fields on the valley floor to the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Fresno area offers something for everyone. With a population of approximately 520,000 residents, Fresno is the fifth-largest city in California and serves as the financial, industrial, trade, and commercial capital of the central San Joaquin Valley.
It is easy to travel from Fresno to other major metropolitan areas in California; the City is located approximately four hours north of the Los Angeles basin and three hours south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Residents and visitors enjoy Fresno’s close proximity to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks and other sites of natural beauty, such as the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The Mediterranean climate in Fresno allows year-round recreational activities including sailing, snow and water skiing, fishing, backpacking, and golfing.
An added benefit to living in Fresno is the excellent housing that is available at price levels that are considerably lower than California’s other large metropolitan areas. The current median home price in Fresno is approximately $210,000. The Fresno area offers four large school districts—Fresno Unified, Central Unified, Sanger Unified, and Clovis Unified—and a variety of private institutions offer excellent ongoing educational and enrichment opportunities. The community is home to the California State University, as well as a number of other colleges and universities.
Many consider Fresno to be a community of the perfect size, offering the best of urban amenities and opportunities along with the unique charms and easy living of a smaller town. Residents enjoy a wide variety of social, cultural, athletic, educational, and recreational activities in an affordable and clean living environment.
Incorporated in 1885, Fresno is a full-service charter city operating under a strong mayor form of government. There are seven Council Members, elected by district. The City Attorney and the City Clerk are appointed by the Council. The Mayor is elected at-large and does not serve on the Council but has veto power over certain actions taken by Council Members. The City Manager, who is appointed by the Mayor, is responsible for appointing all other department heads in the City, including those for Airports, Development and Resource Management, Finance, Fire, Information Services, Parks and Recreation, Personnel Services, Police, Public Utilities, Public Works, and Transportation.
The Office of Independent Review (OIR) works to strengthen community trust in the Fresno Police Department by providing neutral, third-party review of police policies, procedures, strategies, and internal investigations. The OIR provides the City’s leaders and the public with objective analysis of policing data, actions, and outcomes.
The OIR analyzes complaints filed by citizens with the Police Department Internal Affairs Division to ensure they have been investigated fairly and thoroughly. The OIR also provides an objective analysis of individual units within the police department to ensure compliance with policy and procedure, best practices, and the law. This includes recommendations on findings to increase thoroughness, quality, and accuracy of each police unit reviewed.
The work of the OIR is guided by the following principles:
- Integrity and Honesty
- Participation of Stakeholders
- Acceptance, Cooperation, and Access
- Obedience to Legal Constraints
Under limited direction of and reporting to the City Manager, the Independent Reviewer is responsible for auditing and reviewing investigations, reviewing inquiry and complaint logs, identifying and monitoring trends in the Police Department, and serving as a resource. This is an unclassified position in which the incumbent serves at the will of the City Manager and exercises supervision over assigned staff.
The Independent Reviewer performs specialized audits of investigations involving highly confidential issues of significant scope and prepares an audit report to evaluate the adequacy and thoroughness of the investigation and the quality and accuracy of the investigative report. Incumbents serve as a liaison and resource to the community with the goal of strengthening the partnerships between the community and the Police Department, and serves as a resource to police officers and managers for consultation regarding recommendations for changes to policies.
The responsibilities and essential functions of the Independent Reviewer may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Conducts audits of use of force investigations, including officer-involved shootings, investigations of in-custody deaths, and complaints involving racial, ethnic, or religious bias.
- Serves as a non-voting member of the Citizens Public Safety Advisory Board and serves as staff support to the Board relative to quarterly activity reports presented to the City Council and others.
- Prepares and conducts presentations to the Citizen’s Public Safety Advisory Board, community groups, professional organizations, neighborhood associations, the media, schools and participants in the Citizen’s Police Academy to educate the community and to solicit suggestions on strengthening the partnership between the community and the Police Department.
- Conducts regular reoccurring meetings with the Police Chief, the Citizens Public Safety Advisory Board and others to share and receive pertinent information, discuss relevant issues and develop mutual understanding that will help facilitate an effective relationship between the City and the public as well as ensuring compliance with applicable laws, rules, regulations, and policies; makes recommendations relative to best practices.
- Conducts presentations to community groups, professional organizations, neighborhood associations, the media, schools, and participants in the Citizens Police Academy to educate the community and to solicit suggestions on strengthening the partnership between the community and the Police Department.
- Reviews Police Department inquiry forms and compliant logs to identify unresolved inquiries and any trends in allegations that may require follow up or further action; determines if any inquiries should have been investigated as a complaint of misconduct rather than addressed as an inquiry.
- Works in cooperation with Internal Affairs to identify areas that may be appropriate for data collection based on regular review of the inquiry and complaint logs.
- Conducts public outreach to educate and promote the mission and role of the Office of Independent Review and to inform the community of the process and procedures for investigation of complaints.
- Serves as a liaison and works in partnership with the community, meeting with community leaders, public officials, and professional organizations gathering input, feedback, and responding to sensitive and complex community and organizational inquiries and complaints.
- erforms fieldwork to obtain data relating to audits of Police Department programs and operations; conducts interviews and prepares supporting documentation; identifies causes or contributing factors relating to problems and recommends possible improvements in methods of operation and performance and/or record keeping.
- Prepares formal audit memoranda, reports, and presentations detailing deficiencies and recommendations for corrective action to improve operations and ensure sound internal control; discusses findings and recommendations with appropriate management personnel.
- Reviews the system of internal controls and confirms adequacy and effectiveness of the controls; identifies deviations from policies and standards and evaluates policies, plans, and procedures; conducts quality control reviews to ensure that completed audits and work papers comply with audit standards.
- Keeps current with developments and issues in local government and stays abreast of evolving audit techniques and practices in order to maintain or enhance delivery of service and responsibilities.
- Produces annual reports analyzing trends and patterns, and recommending improvements to the complaint review process, Police Department training needs, as well as procedural changes which will improve police/community relations.
- Performs related duties as assigned.
The City of Fresno is seeking a dedicated, experienced professional with a balance of both strong leadership and well-rounded technical skills to serve as its Independent Reviewer. The ideal candidate will be highly motivated, organized, and detail-oriented, and capable of working independently to accomplish goals and meet established schedules and deadlines. An individual with a successful track record of establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with elected officials, City management and staff, representatives of community organizations, public and private agencies, as well as the general public is sought.
The ideal candidate will demonstrate a high degree of political sensitivity, and the ability to apply objectivity and impartiality even under the most difficult of circumstances. Candidates who can demonstrate strong facilitation, negotiation, and diplomacy skills in their appointed role are highly desired. The City will benefit from a problem solver who can think objectively and act strategically. He or she must demonstrate sound independent judgment and initiative, uncompromising ethics, and the highest level of integrity, while at the same time be able to collaborate with personnel from the Police Department and other City offices.
The incoming Independent Reviewer will possess exceptional interpersonal, communication, and analytical skills as well as creative problem solving abilities. The incumbent will need to quickly grasp the complexity and depth of the City’s diversity and the challenges faced by professional policing and focus on effective solutions to achieve successful results for the community and the City.
A successful candidate will have knowledge in the areas related to auditing law enforcement organizations; police department operations, practices, and procedures, personnel issues, the California Penal Code, relevant case law and court decisions, and the procedural protections provided to officers pursuant to the Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights; law enforcement administration, including governmental operations, civil service rules and regulations, city charter provisions, ordinances, local, state, and federal laws; administrative, constitutional, criminal and public records laws and procedures; principles and methods in development and administration of sound departmental goals, objectives, policies and methods for evaluating achievement and performance levels; and report writing techniques, general research and analytical techniques including program evaluation and operational auditing.
Any combination of related experience and education as approved by the City Manager may be considered qualifying. As detailed above, candidates must be experienced in and knowledgeable of police procedures, legal research, and analyzing criminal, constitutional, labor, and civil rights law. A law degree from an accredited college or university is desirable. In addition, the possession of a valid Class C California driver’s license may be required at time of appointment.
The annual salary range for the Independent Reviewer is $95,808 to $134,820 and is dependent upon qualifications and experience. The City also offers an excellent benefits package that includes:
Retirement Fresno City Retirement System; reciprocity with other public California systems. The City’s pension funds are among the best funded public systems in California. The City does not participate in Social Security.
Health Insurance City contributes toward the current monthly premium for medical, dental, and vision for employee and dependents.
Flexible Spending Account IRS 125 Plan for health/dependent care.
Auto Allowance $300 per month.
Deferred Compensation 457 plan available.
Administrative Leave 60 hours per fiscal year.
Annual Leave 20 days per year of annual leave with cash out provision upon separation from the City.
Holidays Ten (10) City-observed holidays annually, plus birthday and one (1) personal day per year.
Life Insurance Equal to annual salary; premium paid by City.
Long-Term Disability City pays premium for 66.66% of monthly salary up to $7500 per month after 30 days.
Following the closing date, resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above. The most qualified candidates will be invited to personal interviews with Bob Murray and Associates. Candidates will be advised of the status of the recruitment following finalist selection. Finalist interviews will be held with the City of Fresno. A select group of candidates will be asked to provide references once it is anticipated that they may be recommended as finalists. References will be contacted only following candidate approval.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Gary Phillips at: (916) 784-9080