• Fresno Deputy Sheriff's Association 1

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Fresno Deputy Sheriff's Association

Representing more than 650 active employees.

Our Mission

The Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association was organized in 1973 to give members of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office the opportunity for fair representation based on the Peace Officer Bill of Rights. The FDSA was also organized to give a group of Deputy Sheriffs the opportunity to collectively bargain with the County of Fresno for wages, benefits, and working conditions.

End of Watch

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office commemorates the death of Deputy Jeffrey Sean Isaac

EOW: September 8, 1997

Today we honor a fallen Fresno County Sheriff Deputy Jeff Isaac who was killed in the line of duty, Sept 8, 1997 – a solo vehicle accident near the City of Reedley CA, and only minutes from where Jeff and his family lived.

Read more ...

The Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association was organized in 1973 to give members of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office the opportunity for fair representation based on the Peace Officer Bill of Rights. The FDSA was also organized to give a group of Deputy Sheriffs the opportunity to collectively bargain with the County of Fresno for wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Over time, the FDSA has evolved, not only as a labor organization with the members we represent, but as part of the community as well. The FDSA is generous to charitable organizations, both financially and with active participation from its members. By working for an elected Sheriff, the FDSA stays politically involved in the community on issues the organization sees can affect law enforcement or the Sheriff.

The FDSA represents over 650 active employees. Although Deputy Sheriffs make up the majority of the membership, dispatchers, community service officers, identification technicians, criminalists, and deputy coroners are all represented by the FDSA. The variety of job classifications allows the FDSA to represent both sworn and support personnel throughout the enforcement side of the Fresno Sheriff’s Office.

The FDSA is an active participant in our State Association, Peace Officer’s Research Association of California (PORAC). The FDSA holds a director at large seat on this board.

The Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association’s goal is to be an outreach for its members and the community. These goals are achieved when we all come together to reach that common goal. Our main focus is law enforcement, not only for labor aspects, but also to serve the citizens of Fresno County who rely on us for their public safety needs.

Latest Newsletter

President's Message, August 2016

September has started off with a terrible reminder of the dangers in law enforcement. Saturday, the 3rd began with a stunning shooting in the jail that critically injured two Fresno County correctional officers. This is the first such incident in the jail, and we are working to help everyone involved. FDSA worked around the clock to support the families of Juanita Davila and Toamalama Scanlan during this difficult time. We have provided food and drinks to the families at Community Regional Medical Center. We also opened the FDSA building to other correctional officers and deputies who wanted to join together, talk, decompress and have a bite to eat. During this tragic time, we have been blessed with donations of food and drinks from several outlying law enforcement agencies and members of the community. Hours after the shooting, District Attorney, Lisa Smittcamp had lunch brought in and countless other groups, and police unions have stopped by to bring food, desserts and simply offer comfort. 

Thank you will never be enough for these gestures of love to the families, and co-workers of these officers. 

The kindness has also been extended both locally and nationwide. We have been receiving financial donations from near and far, for the families of Davila and Scanlan. Davila is a mother of two and grandmother of three. Scanlan is a husband and father of six. Both families have a long road ahead, and we hope these contributions can alleviate some of the pressure of keeping things going on the homefront, as they recover.

I would like to also thank those FDSA members, retirees, and jail employees who immediately stepped in to staff the FDSA building and help with putting out food, filling drink bins and everything else necessary to keep the building open from 6am until 10pm. Your gracious service has been tremendously appreciated.  

November Election

The November general election is just two months away. The two Board of Supervisors candidates the FDSA supported both won during the primary on June 7, 2016. This means there will be an automatic win for them in upcoming general election. 

Supervisors-elect Nathan Magsig and Sal Quintero both finished high in their respective districts. I have been meeting with both regularly, as they prepare to serve the residents in Fresno County. Both have been inquiring about county government operations and public safety services within Fresno County. Already, there has been a lot of information sharing. I am pleased to see they are committed to hearing our perspective and learning about their goals.

Our (FDSA) focus for the November election will be to support PORAC in the state initiatives that are on the ballot. One of the important ones for us is the NO on 62/Yes on 66 campaigns - dealing with the death penalty. 

No on Prop 62, Yes on Prop 66/Californians to Mend, Not End, the Death Penalty is leading the support campaign for Proposition 66. 

YES on 66 

This campaign is a continuation of the NO on 34 measure we supported in November of 2012, when the death penalty was on the brink of being abolished. Here is a brief recap from my article in March of 2016 regarding the issue. 

“In 2012, Proposition 34 was initiated to abolish the death penalty in California.

The FDSA was against Prop 34, along with PORAC and many other public safety groups. We hosted one of a dozen statewide press conferences outlining our concerns with this measure. Our position was simple – 47 cop killers were sitting on death row- of the 700 waiting for their fate to be determined. While many of the other inmates on death row are responsible for inhumane and unspeakable crimes- we are especially concerned about those cold blooded killers who have taken the lives of law enforcement officers.  

Prop 34 was defeated- in the sense that the public did not want to abolish the California death penalty. Now, the remedy is to fix it.”

The remedy is Proposition 66 – put together by the District Attorneys Association. Funding has primarily come from law enforcement groups throughout the State of California. Millions of dollars of tax payer dollars could be saved each year, by fixing the broken death penalty system. This money could be far better put to use on improvements to public safety, instead of housing, securing and feeding these killers. 

During the NO on 34 campaign in 2012- of the over 700 inmates on death row- 47 were “cop killers.” Today there are 39 “cop killers,” still sitting there. The voters spoke at the ballot box in 2012, so now is the time to fix this problem. Below is a summary of what the ballot initiative is going to focus on: 

  • Changes procedures governing state court appeals and petitions challenging death penalty convictions and sentences.
  • Designates superior court for initial petitions and limits successive petitions.
  • Establishes time frame for state court death penalty review.Requires appointed attorneys who take noncapital appeals to accept death penalty appeals.
  • Exempts prison officials from existing regulation process for developing execution methods.
  • Authorizes death row inmate transfers among California prisons.
  • Increases portion of condemned inmates’ wages that may be applied to victim restitution.
  • States other voter approved measures related to death penalty are void if this measure receives more affirmative votes. 

The No on 62 campaign is tied hand in hand with the Yes on 66. To be clear, we support death penalty reform NOT the abolishment of the death penalty completely. The yes on 62 campaign in being ran primarily by the ACLU/NAACP who want to abolish the death penalty completely. 

The stance from law enforcement is the deterrent factor of the death penalty provides additional protection of officers. We believe there is a direct correlation with mindset of criminals, when the public is aware they are eligible for capital punishment if an officer is killed in the line of duty. Currently, a first degree murder charge against a law enforcement officer holds a special circumstance to allow for sentencing to death. 

A new study in California revealed that the cost of the death penalty has been over $4 billion dollars since 1978. Since 1976, only 13 people have been put to death in California, compared to close to 700 in the State of Texas. The study considered pre-trial and trial costs, costs of automatic appeals, state habeas corpus petitions, costs of federal habeas corpus appeals, and the costs of incarceration on death row. (Alarcon & Mitchell, 2011).

Below is an article that was published in the Los Angeles Times on June 5, 2012. It is about the sentencing of Earl Ellis Green- a man who was found guilty in the senseless execution style killing of Officer Ryan Bonaminio in November 2010. 

Riverside jurors ordered the death penalty Tuesday for Earl Ellis Green, who was convicted of fatally shooting Riverside Police Officer Ryan Bonaminio at point-blank range as the officer pleaded for his life.

After 3 1/2 hours of deliberations, the panel returned the decision, agreeing with prosecutors who argued that the penalty should fit the crime. The 46-year-old convicted felon, who was on parole at the time of the November 2010 killing, smiled as the jury announced the verdict, witnesses said.

"We are pleased with this verdict and the hard work done by this jury," Dist. Atty. Paul Zellerbach said. "This case is a perfect example — the murder of a peace officer in the line of duty — why we need the death penalty and why it needs to be carried out."

He said the death penalty was supported by the facts: "The officer was already rendered pretty much helpless, unconscious and defenseless when he was executed with his own gun."

Despite the guilty verdict and death penalty decision by the jury, Bonaminio's family said that nothing will bring back the officer, who was killed in a church parking lot after Green led Bonaminio on a foot chase through Riverside's Fairmount Park.

Green, who remains in custody with no bail, is scheduled to return to the Hall of Justice in Riverside on June 25 to be sentenced by Judge Jean Leonard. He was found guilty last month of first-degree murder with special circumstances that made him subject to the death penalty.

During the trial, defense attorneys acknowledged that Green fired the shots that killed Bonaminio, but sought a conviction on a lesser charge that would not carry the death penalty.

Stephen J. McQueen, a homeless man who volunteered at the church, told the jury he saw the shooting unfold as he smoked a cigarette in the parking lot. Bonaminio, hands up, told the killer, "Don't do it. Don't do it," McQueen testified.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Hestrin said during the trial that Green's first two shots missed the officer. Green then walked up to Bonaminio, who was on his knees, and fired at the back of the officer's head from a foot or so away, Hestrin said.

"His life and blood poured out of him," Hestrin told the jury. "He died there, on the cold and dirty asphalt."

Another pertinent illustration appeared in the NBC Bay Area News in 2010. It was published after the sentencing of Alberto Alvarez, who was punished to death for the killing of Officer Richard May. 

A San Mateo County Superior Court judge sentenced  26-year-old Alberto Alvarez to death by lethal injection for killing East  Palo Alto police Officer Richard May in 2006.

"The circumstances of the murder were particularly savage and brutal," Judge Craig Parsons said before imposing the sentence. "Death is warranted."

Alvarez's case will be automatically appealed to the state Supreme Court, as is every death penalty case in California.  Legal experts say the appeals will take at least 25 years.

Scott Peterson was the last person to be sentenced to death in San Mateo County Superior Court after he was found guilty in 2004 of murdering his wife Laci and their unborn child.

Alvarez, who was found guilty in November of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of killing a peace officer for the execution-style shooting of May, showed no emotion and declined to make a statement at this morning's sentencing.

Had Judge Craig Parsons not condemned Alvarez to death, he would have faced life in prison without the chance of parole.

May was killed the afternoon of Jan. 7, 2006, after he responded to a report of a fight at a taqueria on University Avenue in East Palo Alto.

He had followed Alvarez from the area of the taqueria to nearby Weeks Street, where the two exchanged gunfire. May was hit and fell to the ground.

Alvarez then fired two additional shots at May, including a fatal shot to the head.

When testifying in the trial, Alvarez claimed he shot May in self-defense.

Parsons ordered Alvarez to be transferred to death row at San Quentin State Prison within 10 days.

Alvarez's defense attorney Eric Liberman said outside the courtroom that his client "seems to be holding up all right."

"He's always been remorseful for the hurt and damage he's inflicted," Liberman said. "The very night this happened, he called people and expressed he had done something that would alter his life forever."

May's wife Diana May said after the sentencing that she doesn't believe Alvarez has ever shown any remorse.

"I don't think he is capable of feeling what a normal person does," she said. "He doesn't have a conscience."

May's stepfather Frank Merrill said he hopes Alvarez will "take responsibility for what he's done."

"Unfortunately his death will be humane, unlike May who had to look down the barrel of a gun," Merrill said.

"This is a message in San Mateo County that when you execute a police officer, you get the maximum punishment," prosecuting attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

I hope these articles illustrate the brutal and senseless killings of law enforcement officers in the State of California. The district attorneys who tirelessly work to get these convictions have put countless hours into these cases. Their push to seek death as a punishment must be respected by the public for these convicted people. There will be more to come regarding these two initiatives, but this provides you with an overview.

Please stay safe in your job assignments and take care of one another. 

Truly,

-Eric