1360 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 268-3372


This section contains the latest news from Eric Schmidt, President of the Fresno Deputy Sheriff's Association, as well as an archive of past newsletters.
A Message from the President, April 2020

The month of April was busy with a lot of activity going on related to COVID19. There was a positive case in our dispatch center which caused some different planning when it came to FSO Dispatch. The strain has been with the exposures, dispatchers who were sent home due to that one positive test. Employees have been, and are still quarantined for 14 days. Some people may have symptoms, while some may not. But the precaution, following the recommendation of the County Health Doctor, is to 14-day quarantine in order to stop a complete outbreak. All employees and other agencies should have been told this is putting a strain on the radio and call takers. Any help is appreciated, just until we can get out of this and back to full operations.

This positive test came on the heels of Dispatcher Appreciation Week, so trying to backtrack the exposure was challenging. Nonetheless, we were able to get through this positive test with very little collateral damage. I applaud all the dispatchers who continued to serve the public during this time, and those who took the precautions not to infect their peers facing a possible exposure. Those who could really stepped up to the plate.

Working with Sheriff’s Management to deal with the positive test was seamless. Things seem to be back on track now. Lt Gilbert will be continuing to monitor the situation in dispatch until we are back to normal. Weekly deep cleaning and daily disinfecting will be ongoing in the center.

FDSA Elections

The FDSA Board of Directors, voted unanimously on a bylaw change regarding the number of board members serving on the FDSA Board of Directors. Currently, the bylaws state there are 13 board of director positions and four executive board positions. We have been holding some vacant positions since our last election due to promotions and retirement. The board has discussed reducing this number down to a more manageable level.

After much discussion, the board took a position to lower the number down to the recommendation of 9 board of directors and 4 executive board members. The official vote was made on Wednesday May 6th during the regularly scheduled FDSA Board Meeting.

By reducing the numbers, our board of directors will be in groups of three (3) when they are elected to their board seats. During this currently election, the only offices that will go out to the members will be for the two executive board seats, 1st Vice President (Currently held by Isaac Torres) and Secretary/Treasurer (Currently held by Jeff Shipman). This will be voted on soon by the membership.

FCERA Earning Statements

During the month of April is when Fresno County Employees Retirement Association puts out your yearly retirement benefit statement. Many of you called me due to some information that was pretty confusing put on your retirement statement. At first glance, it’s quite confusing, and is putting numbers that just don’t seem factual.

Some examples I saw were 44 year of service at age 70 pays you about $3,000 a month. Others were at 25 years of service you would have $7,000 a month. Obviously, these numbers are all over the board. I contacted our retirement association representative and FDSA Board member John Robinson to advise him of the issue. John looking into the reason why this is continuing to happen.

I have attached the graphs for all of you to be able to cross reference your age (at time of retirement), years of service (at time of retirement) which will give you the percentage on where you will be with those two numbers. Take the salary you make today and use it as a reference of what a scenario would look like (today) if you were to retire based age, years of service and salary. The pay will only get better from here depending where you are at in your career.

I want to clarify some mis information that is being talked about and is simply false. A couple members asked me specifically about PEPRA and why the FDSA voted on that. I was also asked why we got rid of a cost of living adjustment for PEPRA employees. Finally, is there a way to get rid of PEPRA altogether.

PEPRA – Public Employees’ Penson Reform Act took effect January 1, 2013. This was a reform act crafted by then California Governor Jerry Brown. This act changed the way retirement benefits are applied to public employees within the State of California. This act was worked on by Gov. Brown in all of 2012 and approved by California Legislators and became law 1/1/2013. The purpose of it was to get in front of a pension overhaul conversation that were intense during this time. Pension reform has always been funded by private billionaires. They persuade the ultra-conservative Republican lawmaker(s) throughout the state. Side-note: We actually saw these go through in San Diego and San Jose, however, after being litigated they were reversed back to a traditional defined benefit pension system.

Here are the employees who would fall under PEPRA:

• Any new hire who joined a public service retirement system in California after January 1, 2013, with no prior membership in another California public retirement system.

• Any employee who joined a public service retirement system in California prior to Jan 1, 2013, who, on or after Jan 1, 2013 is hired by another public service retirement employer following a break in service more than six-months.

• A new hire who joins a public retirement system for the first time on or after Jan 1, 2013, and who was a member of another California public retirement system prior to that date but who is not subject to reciprocity by that public retirement system.

All members who don’t fall into the above definitions above are considered classic members. Classic members will retain the existing benefit enrollment levels for future service with the same employer. That is PEPRA in a nutshell.

There were questions asked why the FDSA voted to allow this. The answer to that is NO PUBLIC AGENCY had a choice on this. This was passed through an ExecutiveType Order from the Governor’s Office and enacted by the California Legislator.

There is one component the FDSA opposed with the FCERA board regarding PEPRA - which was cost of living adjustments. There is a big misunderstanding that COLA increases were banished with PEPRA – that is completely false. CALPERS has Cost of Living adjustments built into their PEPRA plans. The 20 counties in the state who fall under 1937 Act Retirement Systems, had to decide independently if they would keep the COLA.

When this was being voted on by YOUR FCERA Board – FDSA asked our safety board representative and Chairman of FCERA at the time, Eulalio Gomez, to vote in favor of continuing the COLA’s for Fresno County Retirees who fall under PEPRA. This vote did not pass and the COLA was discontinued. This was disappointing that our own FCERA Board would not vote in favor of continuing the COLA. Will it ever come back or be reversed? That is never off the table, but accomplishing something like that and reversing it would be very difficult. The current makeup of the retirement board would not be in favor of doing something like this. I am currently discussing the idea with John Robinson and FCERA to see how to go about accomplishing this.

I have attached the table for PERPA pension, taken from the FCERA employee handbook. You can see based on the age, years of service, what the percentage will look like when it is your time to retire.

Again, we as the FDSA are here to represent the needs of our members. This doesn’t mean we can move mountains. However, take ideas, suggestions, and input from the members and as a board, we move forward with one clear message.

We look forward to some of the restrictions being lifted to allow us to gather back together as a department.



General Members Retirement Table

Safety Members Retirement Table

April 2020 President's Message

A Message from the President, February 2020
On January 9, 2020 during the PORAC Board of Directors meeting, President Brian
Marvel appointed me to the Peace Officer Standard and Training Advisory Committee
as a sitting member for PORAC. The POST Advisory Committee performs a key role as
part of the Commission’s team by providing a two-way communication link between the
Commission and organizations that share an interest in the Commission’s work. The
committee meets prior to each triannual Commission meeting to review and analyze
topics the Commission will later address. Advisory Committee members represent
associations and organizations within the California law enforcement community,
educators, and the public-at-large. Therefore, they provide valuable input on many
contemporary and evolving issues in law enforcement, helping the Commission and
POST better serve California's peace officers and the citizens they protect. Appointed
by the Commission for a term of three-years, Committee members receive no
compensation but are the stakeholders that give a considerable amount of input to the
Commissioners when decisions are rendered. I attended my first meeting on February
12, 2020 in San Diego. This was an eye-opening experience as to the discussions that
go on regarding POST training, and all the logistics that go into that. I look forward to
serving PORAC and all of you with this group and will be reporting back to the
membership regarding topics that were taken up during the committee. Decisions
rendered at the POST Commission will be reported back as well.
One topic of discussion during the February 12th meeting was the dispatch academy
and how a change is looking to be made in regards to attendance of this training. This
topic has been discussed a couple different times during meetings with Sheriff’s Admin
in regards to how we are sending people to the POST Dispatch Academy.
A proposal that was made by POST administration, was to require the dispatch
academy before the new hire (dispatcher) reports to their respective dispatch center.
There was a good discussion and much concern over making a change of that nature.
There were challenges addressed when making a change like this. The lack of
dispatcher candidates statewide makes this an issue right out of the gate. Followed by
the failure rates statewide for dispatcher’s going through the different dispatcher training
Suggestions coming from the discussion was staggering the training since it is 120
hours in segments. Maybe doing a week after a couple months of exposure, then
completing the remainder of it (80 hours) after the dispatcher has completed their
respective training program. There are a variety of ways it can be broken down as far as
the hours. I have reached out to our own dispatchers along with FPD dispatchers and
have asked for input on this issue so that I can be prepared at our next meeting in June
to represent our respective groups in this region. Unknown at this time what direction
this will go.
Update to the Pension System in California
I recently received a publication from PORAC President, Brian Marvel, from the coalition
Californians For Retirement Security which PORAC is a part of, and all of us have
contributed to the pension reform fund currently being held by PORAC. These are
interesting facts that are being represented by CALPERS – but are very consistent with
our Fresno County Employee Retirement Association (FCERA).
I get briefed quite often by Deputy John Robinson, who sits as a Trustee on the FCERA
board which oversees your pension system. John has been sitting on the FCERA board
for over two years. John’s tenure came around the same time as some of the newer
trustees. Many new decisions have been made since that time. The Pension Fund has
seen tremendous growth, even with increased retirements, which have spiked monthly
payroll to over $25 million.
Due to a variety of factors that include retirements, new hires, low inflation, thriving
markets on Wall Street, and a new investment strategy - I have listed below the amount
employees will be paying into their pension starting July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
See Table Below
Current Ave Rates %
July 1, 2020
General Tier 1 (0)
General Tier 2 (-0.21)
General Tier 3 (-0.01)
General Tier 4 (+0.15)
General Tier 5 (+0.13)
Safety Tier 1 (-0.78)
Safety Tier 2 (-0.24)
Safety Tier 4 (+0.14)
Safety Tier 5 (+0.04)
As you can see from the above table – the pension system is doing very well with very
little increase to employee cost, or even a reduction to the employees in some of the
CalSTRS and CalPERS are strong. Their cash flow is positive and their funded status
is improving. CalPERS' market value reached $400 billion in January 2020, reaching
a new landmark and reflecting a doubling of the fund's portfolio from 10 years ago.
The fund's market value has grown by $27 billion in the last six months. That's more
than it grew in the entire fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019, when it gained $18
billion in value. CalSTRS has holdings of nearly $224 billion, also nearly double that of
10 years ago.
Just looking at “unfunded liability” ignores important sources of system strength.
According to a recent UC Berkeley study, it serves “not only to exaggerate the
problems facing pension funds, but also provides a poor guide to addressing those
problems.” Yet some politicians cite “unfunded liabilities” when they’re looking for an
excuse to break their promise to police officers, firefighters, nurses, teachers,
librarians and other public employees.
Pension systems are long-term, perpetual entities. Like a home mortgage, there is a
long-term liability, but the bill is not due immediately. Pensions are pre-funded with
both employer and employee contributions, and the investment returns those
contributions generate. Like the rest of us, pension systems suffered during the Great
Recession, but now they’re rebounding.
At CalPERS, the average pension for retirees is $35,748 per year. A new retiree who
just retired in fiscal year 2017-18 receives $40,596 per year. Overall, 63 percent of all
CalPERS retirees receive less than $3,000 a month. And only 3.6 percent of
CalPERS retirees receive pensions of $100,000 per year or more -- these retirees are
usually executives who hold seats in either city or county offices, or are physicians, or
are senior managers for fire and police departments.
Unlike the private sector, about 33 percent of CalPERS members and retirees don’t
participate in Social Security for benefits, so their CalPERS pension may be their sole
source of retirement income.
The average retirement age for all retirees is nearly age 60, while the average years
of service is more than 20.
Some people believe that taxpayers fund the total cost of public pensions. This is
not true. At CalPERS, the largest contribution comes from investment return dollars,
with additional, ongoing funding from employer and employee contributions.
Workers currently contribute up to 15.25 percent of their paychecks to help fund
their own pensions.
In other words, 71 cents out of every public employee pension dollar is funded by
CalPERS' own investment earnings and member contributions. In the fiscal year
ended June 2019, CalPERS paid out nearly $24.2 billion in pension benefits.
Public workers' contributions to our pension systems have been increasing. During
the last 20 years, contributions from public workers accounted for about 13 percent of
the system's benefit payments, while contributions from the state made up about 29
percent. The remaining payments have come from CalPERS' investment earnings.
In recent years, state workers have been moving closer to a 50/50 split in contributing
to their pensions along with their employers. The state's estimated contribution for the
present fiscal year is about $5.9 billion, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom's recent
budget proposal.
Pension “reforms” passed by a bipartisan majority in the Legislature and signed by
Governor Jerry Brown took effect in January 2013. These changes increased the
retirement age for new employees depending on their job, capped the annual payouts
at $132,120, eliminated numerous abuses of the system, and required workers who
were not contributing half of their retirement costs to pay more. CalPERS estimates it
will save between $42 billion and $55 billion over 30 years while CalSTRS pegged its
savings at $22.7 billion over 30 years from these changes.
The Pension discussion will continue to go on for a number of years. There are people
who don’t like the fact that public employees receive a pension after putting in years of
service to an agency. Groups like FDSA, PORAC, etc are the ones continuing to
identify and push back on these discussions ensuring the promises made at the
bargaining table are upheld at the term of retirement. Rest assured, at the end of your
career, you can expect this pension to be there for you and your family. We work hard
daily, to ensure this comes to fruition for you and your family and those promises are
Any questions you may have regarding pensions, never hesitate to ask.
Take care and stay safe!
-Eric Schmidt
A Message from the President, January 2020

Happy New Year 2020 to all of you. Things have started off on the right foot at the FDSA. Our website is up and running, along with the app that is compatible with both Apple and Android phones. This is the best and easiest way to stay connected with your hours, wages and working conditions. Those of you who are using it, if you see improvements that can be made please let us know so those improvements can be made. We will consult with the creator of the website and make this a user-friendly system that has little to no glitches moving forward.  I have also opened up the availability to sign up for the website up the chain of command so communication is seamless. This is important for member communication along with staying connected to the many community support events and partnerships we have throughout the Fresno community. 

We have finally launched the flooring project at the FDSA. This project has been a few years in the planning process. We wanted to ensure the best product for years to come and limit member’s dues paying for the project. I am happy to say, this project will not be using any membership money to fund. Proceeds from Uptown Bar and Grill and some community donations will help fund this project! This flooring will transform the FDSA building and complete the final phase of the remodel phase that was started in 2010. I know this sounds like a long process (10 years) – but the FDSA Board of Directors direction was not to use any member dues to do this. From building rentals and other fundraising sources, we have built up our reserves to make the improvement. 

I will be taking a by-law proposal to the FDSA Board of Directors to lower the Member Rate when renting the FDSA building for an event. Currently the rate is $350 to rent the building. I will be asking it to be lowered to $250 for a member event. Different factors play into the reduction, but I think it is warranted. My hope is this will get more member involvement and the ability to rent a building that is owned by your association. Many of you already do utilize it and have had several events here over the years.


Aflac for PORAC 

Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association

Welcoming in the new year of 2020, our PORAC AFLAC agent, Jamie Amstutz will be available for all Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association Members: 

Wednesday, February 19th from 7:00 am and throughout the day between and for all briefings.

Location: Area 2 Substation – 5717 E. Shields, Fresno, CA

  • All Association members are eligible for AFLAC benefits at PORAC rates.
  • If you would like to set up a meeting at a specific time, please contact Jamie in advance.
  • We now also have Online enrollment available through EVERWELL (Telephonic Enrollment with Jamie)
  • Feel free to contact Jamie with any questions regarding claims, changes, signing up…

Jaime was at the FDSA during shift signups, but wanted to come back and make this available to all members. Lt. Curtice has opened up Area Two all day to host the AFLAC signups.  No need to RSVP – just show up!

Accident AdvantageCovers you and family for accidents, on or off the job!

  • First visit increased to $125-$205 depending on provider (previous plans $120).
  • Includes specific-sum injury benefits based upon severity, cash for major tests, physical therapy, ambulance, appliances, and more.
  • Includes an annual wellness benefit of $60 once per Calendar year.
  • NEW – Organized Sporting Activities Benefit. Adds 25% to total benefit, max of $1000 per year. 
  • NEW – Home Modification Benefit - $3,000
  • Monthly premiums start at $26.91 – Option 3 or $30.94 – Option 4 

AfLac Cancer Protection Assurance – Level 2 Pays cash benefits at a time when needed most 

  • Receive $4,000 for the first occurrence of cancer, plus the benefit builds by an additional $500 per year prior to first occurrence.
  • Covers children at no extra cost!
  • Cash benefits for radiation, chemo, second-surgical opinions and much more. 
  • Wellness incentives $75, once per year for certain cancer screening tests.
  • Monthly premiums start at $40.36

Critical Care Protection – Option 3  - Pays first occurrence, hospital & continuing care;

  • Pays $7,500 upon the first incident (increase of $2,500), benefit builds by an additional $500 per year prior to first occurrence. 
  • Also pays a higher reoccurrence benefit for additional events (from $2,500 to $3,500) 
  • Added Tier 1 and Tier 2 Specified Heart Surgery Benefits
  • ICU for any reason
  • Monthly premiums are based upon age at enrollment, starting as low as $20.15
  • (lower cost from previous plan, for enrollment prior to age 46)

Hospital Choice – Option 1 - Help close the gap on high deductibles, co-pays, and other unexpected costs:

  • Flexible Hospitalization Confinement benefit, Rehabilitation, Short Stay and Emergency room benefits.
  • Extended Benefits: Physician visit benefits, Labs and X-rays, Diagnostic and Imaging benefits, Ambulance
  • Hospital and Surgical Care: Surgical benefits, Invasive Diagnostic Tests, Physician ICU, Daily Confinement and Second Surgical Opinion Benefits.
  • Monthly premiums start at $47.97


Please feel free to contact Jamie Amstutz at 858-344-4331 with any questions you may have.  You may also email Jamie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download my app to easily connect with me on the go! Text Jamie Amstutz to 36260

Morgan Stanley will be at Area Two as well during the same time as Aflac. Heath Seltzer has attached a brief description of what he does and how he can help FDSA members with their future planning. Heath offers a variety of financial options for members who are ready to start investing into their future. If you haven’t thought about wealth management and planning for the future – it may be worth five minutes to discuss some options with Heath than can benefit you and your family. 

Wealth planning. It all starts with one meeting.

Heath Seltzer & Kevin Wright are Financial Advisors at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and provide Retirement Planning Services to 170+ police and fire families.   They provide complimentary retirement planning consultations and written Financial Plans to help each family map out their retirement spending including pension, deferred comp, IRA, and other investment accounts.  

Swing by anytime on 2/19/2020 between 7am – 10pm for a complimentary consultation to see if your retirement is on track.  Feel free to bring statements for a more in-depth discussion.  You can also email Heath/Kevin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule a call or meeting.

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