Thursday , May 23 2024

Tulare Police Chief Off the Job For 2nd Time

Tulare Police Chief is off the job for the second time in a little over a year, the first time it was for an alleged domestic violence incident in which he was arrested. This time city officials aren’t saying why but we do know there’s no time frame on when or if the Chief will return to his duties.

Friday afternoon Tulare City Manager Don Dorman said "It’s a personnel matter so we have no comment one way or the other."

A personnel matter that no city official is willing to discuss in detail. Leaving many Tulare residents to wonder what’s going on with Police Chief Jerry Breckinridge. Dorman wouldn’t confirm if the Chief is on administrative leave, only stating he’s been "unavailable" since Tuesday until further notice.

"Police and firefighters have special protections under California law, there’s a police officer bill of rights which dictates how any personnel matter is handled and it’s a little different than someone in a non police or fire role," Dorman said.

He also wouldn’t say who is involved in the investigation or how officers are handling the Chief’s absence. For now Captain Wesley Hensley is leading the department.

"We don’t even know what happened so it’s impossible to say whether it affects the city or not," Dorman said.

Breckinridge has been on the spotlight and on leave before for a domestic violence allegation. It happened in March of 2014 but after a couple of weeks, he was able to return.

Dorman said "That was fully investigated by the Sheriff’s Dept, by the District Attorney, we internally investigated… reviewed facts and evidence and found there was no basis to file a criminal complaint. There was no basis for taking any action in that matter."

Breckinridge has been with the Tulare Police Department since 1989 and was named Chief 20 years later. Dorman assures residents they’re following standard protocol. "We are going to follow every step including not commenting on personnel matters, by the letter, by the book and we’re gonna let things come out when they’re supposed to come out based upon the rules that we have."

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