Chief Balderrama Headshot 2024

Paco Balderrama

Chief – Fresno Police Department

Chief Paco Balderrama is a 28-year veteran of American law enforcement. Chief Balderrama began his law enforcement career as an 18-year-old detention officer with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office in Oklahoma City, one day after his high school graduation. In 1999, at the age of 22, he began his career with the Oklahoma City Police Department as a police officer, and after his first year he received the coveted Rookie of the Year Award. Chief Balderrama served for 22 distinguished years at OKCPD, becoming the first Hispanic Deputy Chief in the agency’s history at the age of 42. On January 11, 2021, Chief Balderrama was sworn-in as the 23rd Chief of Police for the City of Fresno.

During his career, Chief Balderrama held various assignments, including Field Training Officer (FTO), Bike Unit Officer, Narcotics Officer, D.A.R.E. Instructor, and Public Information Officer. Chief Balderrama was also a member of the SWAT Team for three years, and taught self-defense and Spanish to recruits in the police academy. As a first-line supervisor Chief Balderrama was assigned to Bike Patrol, the Truancy Unit, the FACT Gang Prevention Program, and the Bilingual Unit. As a Captain, he was Commander over Investigations – Property Crimes, the OCPD Cadet Program, Wellness Program, the OCPD Honor Guard, and the Office of Media Relations.

Chief Balderrama finished his career in Oklahoma City as Deputy Chief overseeing Special Operations, which included Criminal Intelligence, Major Violators, the Violent Crime Apprehension Team (VCAT), Uniform Support, Youth Services, and Emergency Services.

Chief Balderrama has a Master of Arts degree in criminal justice administration from the University of Central Oklahoma, he is a graduate of the #269th Session of the FBI National Academy, and a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute Class #45. Chief Balderrama is a member of Major Cities Chiefs Association where he co-chairs the Wellness Committee, serves on the Legislative Committee, is a PELI mentor, and serves as the MCCA representative for the FirstNet Wellness Coalition. As a member of the CalChiefs Association, he serves as the Region 10 representative which includes California’s Central Valley. Chief Balderrama is a current board member of Breaking the Chains, which partners with law enforcement to rescue victims of human trafficking and serves on various executive boards of regional task forces.

Chief Balderrama is married to his wife Kyla and has three children: Hayden (13), Jude (11), and Jenson (10).