City of Fresno hires new Police Auditor

FRESNO, Calif.

For now, Rick Rasmussen will work 20 hours a week here in Fresno, and he will continue his job in Salt Lake City. City leaders say he is one of the top in the country and a perfect match for Fresno.

City leaders say Rick Rasmussen, 56, has a balance of experience with people and credibility with police agencies that makes him a great person to take over the office of independent review.

The former FBI agent said transparency within police departments is something communities find very valuable.

"Independent review of police forces is something that's sweeping the country," Rasmussen said. "It gives an added level of trust between the community and the officers who are employed by the city."

Rasmussen will initially work part time. He will share his work week in Salt Lake City where he is the administrator for the city's civilian review board.

In Fresno, he will earn $64 hundred a month, which amounts to close to $74.00 an hour. City Manager Mark Scott says it's a fair amount.

Scott explained, "This is a program that we feel pays for itself and in this world with the litigation that occurs around police operations, one complaint that is resolved can save enough money to pay the entire cost of a years program."

The police chief has met with Rasmussen several times and feels he has integrity and good problem solving skills.

"There are a lot of people in this community that absolutely trust what we do as an agency. But there are other people that do not trust the police department," Chief Jerry Dyer said. "The office of independent review gives that added level of scrutiny to a department."

The office of independent review was established in 2009 with the appointment of Eddie Aubrey. After Aubrey left the job in June of 2011, the position has been vacant due to budget cuts.

Rasmussen started his job Tuesday. City leaders say he will pay for his flights to and from Salt Lake City and his lodging while he is in Fresno.

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