Bakersfield Police Department
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Bakersfield Police Department
Bakersfield Police Department
Bakersfield, CA Police.png
Bakersfield Police Department Badge.png
Abbreviation BPD
Agency overview
Formed 1898
Employees 477
Volunteers 12
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction Bakersfield, California, USA
Kern County California Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Bakersfield Highlighted.svg
Map of Bakersfield Police Department's jurisdiction.
Size 140.53 square miles (364.0 km2)
Population 333,719 (2009)
General nature o Local civilian agency
Headquarters 1601 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, California, 93301

Police Officers 405
Civilians 156
Agency executive
Stations 2
Vehicles 239
K-9s 11
Bakersfield Police

The Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) is the agency responsible for law enforcement within the city of Bakersfield, California, in the United States. It has over 400 officers and staff, covering an area of 131 square miles (296.3 km2) serving an urban population of more than 450,000. The current chief of the department, since 2016, is Lyle Martin. The department protects the city, split between two areas and six zones or beats with stations in each area aside from the main department headquarters. A lieutenant commands each zone. The department administration is made up of the chief of department, two assistant chiefs, four captains and eleven lieutenants.[1]

The department headquarters are located at 1601 Truxtun Ave. The west area station is located at 1301 Buena Vista Rd. The east area station is located at East 11th St. The south side sub-station is located at 106 East White Ln. The department shooting range is located on Truxtun Ave. with the K-9 training school next door to the range. The department training academy is located on Norris Rd in conjunction with the Kern County Sheriff's Department.

Mission statement

"The Bakersfield Police Department is committed to professional service which improves community safety and the quality of life by developing partnerships that promote efficient and innovative crime prevention, intervention and law enforcement service."[1]


The Bakersfield Police Department traces its origin to the incorporation of the City of Bakersfield in 1898. On January 13, 1898 the Bakersfield City council instituted the Bakersfield City Marshal's Office with Thomas A. Baker as its first Marshal. The police department was itself incorporated on February 27, 1915 with Jacob Horace Dupes as Chief of police.[2]

Robert B. Powers was hired as a motorcycle patrolman in 1928.[3][4] He made Chief of police of the department in 1933,[3][5][6] and instituted a number of reforms and on-the-job training.[7]:p.3-7[8] His first major action was during the California Agricultural Strike 1933.[9] From May to Oct 1938 a murder case consumed his time - that of Mathias Warren, father to Earl Warren who was soon to be was Attorney General, then governor, and in time, supreme court judge.[7]:p.9-18[10][11] In June 1939 Powers took the stance of supporting an initiative to get women on the police force if they were college educated and paid well.[12] On July 3, 1941, the Bakersfield Police Department accepted its first female officer with the hiring of Mary Holman Dodge.[8][13][14] In 1944-5 Powers was appointed to a wartime state committee on law enforcement under then Governor Earl Warren.[7]:pp.37-41[15][16][17] Powers was also a strong voice in determining successive chiefs through to 1966.[18][19]

In 1968, the department accepted its first African-American into its ranks by the hiring of Irma Carson.

In August 1973, the department established the Bomb Squad unit with one operator in order to deal with the emerging threat of explosive ordnance in the city.[] Today, the squad consists of five bomb detective technicians and two robots.[needs update]

In June 1988, the department started its K-9 unit, consisting of five officers and 5 working dogs.[20] On February 8, 1994, the Bakersfield Police Activities League was established for at risk youth in the city. In June 1999, the department made city history with the promotion of Eric L. Mattlock as the first African-American chief of police for Bakersfield. On July 8, 2003, the Bakersfield Police Department started a School Resource Officer program by assigning a small detail to local city elementary schools.[21]

In July 2003, the BPD investigated one of Bakersfield's most heinous and high profile crimes; The Harper family murders. The killing of two adults and three children in their own home sparked international media coverage and an investigation that would cross the entire United States.

The BPD was able to solve the case and make an arrest of one of the victims husband, Vincent Brothers. On May 15, 2007, Brothers was convicted of the crime of murder in the first degree. The conviction was due to the efforts of the investigations bureau of the Bakersfield Police Department.

In April 2010, the BPD promoted its first female in the departments history to the rank of Captain with the promotion of Hajir Nuridin.

In 2013, BPD began the deactivation of their motor traffic enforcement unit. The reasoning was the amount of injuries that were being incurred by motor traffic enforcement officers who were involved in numerous traffic collisions. BPD is now the largest law enforcement agency in the United States to no longer an active Motorcycle Traffic Enforcement Unit.

Rank structure

The BPD uses a standard paramilitary rank structure.

Title Insignia
Chief of Police
Assistant Chief
Senior Officer


Bakersfield, CA Police Building
Bakersfield, CA Police east side substation

Sworn assignments

  • Administration
  • Animal Control
  • Patrol Service Technician
  • Parking Enforcement
  • Public Relations Officer
  • School Resource Officer
  • Reserve Unit
  • Training
  • Patrol
  • Traffic
  • Investigations
  • Internal Affairs
  • Narcotics
  • Vice
  • Electronic Crimes Unit
  • Homeland Security Unit
  • Off Road Unit
  • Auto Theft Unit
  • GHOST Unit (anti-graffiti)
  • Warrant/Fugitive Unit (fugitive recovery)
  • Special Enforcement Unit (anti-gang)
  • K-9 Unit
  • Civil Disturbance Team
  • Bomb Squad
  • SWAT

Non-sworn assignments

  • Crime Analysis Unit
  • Crime Lab
  • Crime Prevention Office
  • Communication Center
  • Records and Reports
  • Evidence\Property Room
  • Police Chaplain
  • Citizen Volunteer
  • Police Activities League
  • Explorer Post
  • RIP (recovery investigations personnel)

Vehicles and equipment

The Bakersfield Police Department employs the latest in uniforms, equipment and vehicles.[1]

Uniforms and equipment

The badge of the department is a gold-colored metal shield surmounted by an eagle, with blue enamel panels stating the name of department, rank of the holder, and badge number. In the center is an enameled seal of the State of California. This design, common in the Central Valley, is based on the 1923 Series 5 badge of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The BPD basic patrol uniform consists of Flying Cross brand B Class uniform in midnight navy blue. Patrol officers, during spring-summer seasons, are authorized to wear either white or navy blue polo shirts with the department badge embroidered. 5.11 Tactical shorts in midnight navy are also authorized during hot weather conditions. K-9 officers normally wear the Spiewak brand B Class uniform, but are authorized to wear black 5.11 tactical duty uniforms when training or during inclement weather operations. All officers in uniform or working field assignments wear Second Chance Level III-A body armor.

The BPD has established a standard training uniform for officers. This consists of a navy blue 5.11 Tactical polo shirt with embroidered department badge and name in gold, khaki 5.11 Tactical tactical pants and tan desert service boots.

Standard uniform equipment consists of Bianchi AccuMold Elite duty gear with a Safariland Model 6355 Belt Drop, Level III Retention holster, First Defense MK-4 Large Duty Size pepper spray, X-26P TASER electronic less lethal weapon, Diamondwood straight stick baton, and two sets of Peerless chain link handcuffs. Motorola hand-held radios are standard carry.

The BPD Special Enforcement Unit uses most of the same uniforms and equipment as stated above, but are also allowed civilian clothing for undercover operations. Raid vests are used for executing warrant searches and field assignments.

The BPD Civil Disturbance Team wears black 5.11 Tactical two-piece tactical duty uniforms, Galls Upper Body Protection System foam chest protectors, Bell RS100 tactical helmets, MSA Advantage 1000 CBA/RCA gas masks, and Galls shin guards. Flex-cuffs are standard carry for riot situations.

The BPD Bomb Squad wears Advance Tactical Camouflage System (A-TACS) AU camouflage pattern TRU-SPEC X-treme tactical uniforms with subdued tan tactical department patches for operations involving the unit. The Bomb Squad uses the First Defense EOD Bomb Disposal Suit for its EOD operations as well as two Andros F6B bomb disposal robots.

The BPD SWAT team wears Crye Precision MultiCam camouflage TRU-SPEC tactical response uniforms with coyote brown tactical department patches, Crye Precision jumpable modular plate carriers with Level IV hard armor plates in MultiCam camouflage, Avon FM53 protective masks, and Safariland 6004 tactical holsters. Coyote tan Ops-Core brand FAST ballistic helmets are worn during operations along with 3M Peltor COMTAC III tactical communication headsets.


All police officers of the Bakersfield Police Department are issued a department standard duty weapon. The current issue weapon is the Glock model 17 Gen 4 9mm handgun.

Patrol officers of the BPD are given the option of carrying either a Remington Model 870 12-gauge shotgun or a Colt AR-15 5.56 mm Government carbine as a vehicle stationed arm.

The BPD Civil Disturbance Team uses a variety of non-lethal riot control weapons. These include Penn Arms L8-40 fixed stock 40mm multi-launcher Riot gun firing rubber, wood, or riot-control agents, Precision Ordnance Products 'Stingball' grenades, Defense Technology 'Han-Ball' and 'Tripple Chaser' CS grenades, 12 gauge bean-bag, rubber and wood rounds fired from Remington 870 shotguns, X-26 tasers, and Monadnock polycarbonate riot batons, and 48" x 24" x 1/8" concave plastic riot shields.

The BPD SWAT team uses both the Colt model LE6933 M-4 Commando and model LE6921 M-4 Carbine in 5.56 mm with both Trijicon RX30-14 Reflex and TA01NSN ACOG sights and SureFire M900A vertical foregrip weapon lights with one weapon issued with an M203 40 mm grenade launcher for less-lethal ordnance, Benelli M4 Tactical Entry 12-gauge semi-auto shotgun with ghost ring sights and SureFire handle mounted tactical lights, a Remington model 870 12-gauge pump shotgun for entry\less-lethal ordnance and a Penn Arms L8-40 fixed stock 40mm multi-launcher Riot gun firing rubber, wood, or riot-control agents. SWAT snipers use customized Remington model 700 Police 7.62 mm bolt action rifles with Leupold scopes. Entry teams use Defense Technology No.25 distraction devices as well as 'Han-Ball', 'Tripple Chaser' and 40mm launched CS grenades.

Bakersfield, CA Police cruiser
Bakersfield, CA Police K-9 cruiser
Bakersfield, CA Police off road vehicle


The Bakersfield Police Department operates Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors as a standard patrol vehicle. The cruisers are in the standard black and white configuration with Code 360 light bars, MX700s and newer Code 3 Defender LED Lightbars. Their standard siren system is the Code 3 MasterCom with a Z100 100W speaker, although some of the newer cruisers have new siren systems such as the Code 3 RLS. All BPD cruisers are equipped with Microsoft Windows based mobile data terminals and Motorola console communication radios. Currently, the department is now adding new equipment that will better aide officers during operations and field investigations. The new equipment is to include vehicle licence plate scanners that can search statewide databases on the spot for DUI offenses and stolen vehicles. Cruisers also carry handheld fingerprint scanners known as Blue Check for instantaneous field identification. Also, the BPD is in the use of in-car lineups software package for the mobile data terminals. The program known as COPLINK is connected to major law enforcement databases around the state of California to compile data on possible suspect information. E-cite citation devices are also carried aboard BPD cruisers. In 2013, the BPD began to implement a new patrol cruiser. The department began utilizing the Ford Taurus Police Interceptor model as the replacement for Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor as that model was no longer being produced.

The BPD K-9 unit uses both the Ford Explorer Police Utility and the Chevrolet Tahoe as patrol vehicles.

The BPD Traffic unit used to operate Harley Davidson Electra Glide-Police and BMW R1200RT-P motorcycles in standard black and white configuration with Motorola communication radios, Blue Check handheld fingerprint scanners, and E-cite citation devices. As of 2013, the motor traffic unit had been disbanded. Traffic enforcement is now carried out with standard patrol cruisers with dash mounted radar and hand held Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) units. Traffic units are also equipped with license plate detectors which are used to locate stolen vehicles.

The BPD Investigations Bureau and BPD Special Operations Unit uses Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors and Ford Taurus Police Interceptor models in civilian color schemes equipped with Microsoft Windows based mobile data terminals with the Coplink system, Blue Check handheld fingerprint scanners, Motorola communication radios and dash mounted emergency lights, as well as numerous civilian vehicles for clandestine operations.

The BPD Patrol Service Technicians operate Ford F-150 and Dodge Dakota pickups in all white configuration with department logos. All pickups come equipped with Motorola console communication radios as well as various traffic control tools and devices.

The BPD also operates various specialized vehicles for different operations. These include a Ford F-350 for Commercial Vehicle Enforcement operations, six BMW G 650 Xchallenge dirt bikes for off-road and river patrol use, two Yamaha Rhino 4x4 utility vehicles for off-road and river patrol use, two enclosed Parking Enforcement scooters, Ford Econoline and Chevrolet vans for crime scene, crime prevention, prisoner transport use, one Ford Econoline E-450 RV for use by the D.U.I. Task Force and D.U.I. saturation operations, one North Star International DuraStar Custom truck for use by the Bomb Squad, one Freightliner LDV mobile command post for use in emergency operations, one specialized North Star Ford F-650 modular truck for use by the SWAT team, and one Lenco BearCat armored rescue vehicle for use in emergency recovery and SWAT operations. All vehicles are adorned with the Bakersfield Police name and logo.

Academy and training

The Bakersfield Police Department has had a variety of training academies throughout its existence. While most of the academies were run by the BPD with the goal of training solely BPD officers, there has been two occasions when the department, for fiscal reasons, joined with another agency to fund and run a joint academy to train multiple agency officers. The most recent incarnation that the BPD operated was the Bakersfield Law Enforcement Training Academy located on the grounds of Bakersfield College, which began operations in January 1999 and culminated with the graduating of Class 01/99 on June 5, 1999. The Academy continued to train officers for Bakersfield Police and other agencies until 2008 when a fiscal crisis demanded that the department once again be joined with the Kern County Sheriff Department to train law enforcement officers. Currently both the BPD and the KCSO command the Kern Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy, located on Norris Rd. The KRLETA is accredited by and follows the criteria set forth by the California commission of Peace Officers Standards and Training.

Fallen officers

Since the establishment of the Bakersfield Police Department, eight officers have given their lives in service to the city of Bakersfield.[22]

Officer Date of Death Details
City Marshal Thomas Jefferson Packard[23] Monday, April 20, 1903 Gunfire
Officer Frank Sparks[24] Saturday, June 16, 1917 Motorcycle accident
Officer Aaron Alexander Trent[25] Wednesday, August 22, 1917 Struck by train
Officer Floyd B.D.W. Cummings[26] Monday, January 7, 1952 Fall
Officer William Lord Rucker[27] Sunday, July 20, 1952 Motorcycle accident
Sergeant Patrick Don Vegas[28] Friday, June 20, 1980 Motorcycle accident
Officer William Leonard Sikola[29] Sunday, July 17, 1983 Vehicle pursuit
Officer David Joseph Nelson[30] Friday, June 26, 2015 Vehicle pursuit


The Bakersfield Police Department has established an informational website that allows the citizens of Bakersfield the opportunity to be involved in solving criminal cases within the Bakersfield community. The "Bakersfield Police Open-Case Files" is a continuously updated website that permits citizens to review open and unsolved cases and report any and all information that they may have that may assist the department in solving cold cases and leading to the arrest and conviction of outstanding criminals.[31]

The Bakersfield Police Department provides an informational website that tracts the crime rates in the city. "Bakersfield Police Crime Statistics" is an interactive website that provides the statistics for crime reporting and calls for service in a given area. Users of the site can locate their area within the city of Bakersfield and see the level of crime for a particular date. The site lists areas by maps, calls for service levels and the location of crimes that have occurred.[32]

The Bakersfield Police Department has authorized the establishment of a multimedia informational website other than their official city website. The "BPDInsider" is a monthly updated website that provides topics of interest and question that can be answered about the Bakersfield Police Department.[33] The sight was fully operational as of March 12, 2008.

The Bakersfield Police Activities League maintains a website dedicated to their efforts to prevent juvenile delinquency by providing skills through education, athletics and opportunities to at risk youth.[34]

The Bakersfield Police Officers Association maintains a website dedicated to the department's police officer union as well as giving information to the general public about officer activities and events.[35]



The Bakersfield Police Department has been criticized over the years for alleged heavy-handed tactics and overuse of force. In recent years, complaints regarding excessive use of force, racial profiling, harassment, and response delays have been registered by criminals, suspects, witnesses, and affected family members.

In March 2001, Tony Eddington and Robert Johnson were stopped in the city of Bakersfield for a traffic violation and ordered to strip for a roadside search. The men, both African-American, contend the search was racially motivated, and sued the BPD for damages exceeding $350,000.00. The BPD settled out of court for an undisclosed sum and have since installed a permanent policy detailing rules on when officers may conduct strip searches in the field.[]

There have been many complaints against the BPD for excessive use of force. Most notably is when there is an officer involved shooting. Many critics of the department have made the charge of shooting first, asking questions later and firing too many rounds at suspects. A federal probe of the BPD was begun in July 2003. The probe would seek information and investigate some 47 complaints against the BPD for use of force and racial profiling. In January 2008, the United States Department of Justice cleared the Bakersfield Police Department of any wrongdoing stemming from the complaints.

On July 5, 2008, it was announced that the BPD will begin using polygraphs as a part of the hiring process to become an officer with the department. The BPD had resisted the concept for several years as other California agencies were introducing polygraphs into their background investigations of law enforcement new hires. The new policy will take effect in early 2009.[]

In June 2009, the BPD began full on-line crime reporting for citizens. This is the mandatory way for residents of Bakersfield to report non-emergency crime. The department, in the past, had on-line crime reporting, but this was optional. The department now requires all non-emergency crimes to be reported on the department website instead of having a Police Service Technician respond to a call for service.[36]

In December 2015, the BPD featured as the subject of an article in United Kingdom's The Guardian newspaper, entitled "The County: The story of America's deadliest police".[37]

In December 2016, a BPD officer immediately murdered an unarmed, confused 73 year old man when he did not take his hand out of his pocket when ordered to do so. This was stemmed from a report by a neighbor saying he was pointing a gun at her, later it was found out that there was no weapon instead a wooden crucifix. The 73 year old man was in the early stages of dementia and thus caused controversy along with the family demanding a federal investigation of the shooting. [38]

Portrayals in fiction

A television sitcom entitled Bakersfield P.D. aired on the FOX network during the 1993-1994 season. It dealt with life inside the Bakersfield Police Department, portraying the department as an incompetent, backwoods police force. It starred Chris Mulkey, Tony Plana, Ron Eldard and Brian Doyle-Murray.

The Clint Eastwood 1980 film Any Which Way You Can featured scenes in the city of Bakersfield with a car chase scene involving Bakersfield Police officers.

A fourth season episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, entitled "Dead Ringer", featured a secondary murder plot involving a female Bakersfield Police detective as a possible suspect.

In 1999, KB Toys released a line of exclusive diecast metal toy cars based on classic hotrod cars featuring real city police logos and paint schemes. "Cop Rods" by Mattel featured a tail dragger hotrod decorated in the Bakersfield Police department style.

The Zoe Saldana 2011 film Colombiana features the Bakersfield Police Department as the police agency that arrests the protagonist in the beginning section of the film.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Official website
  2. ^ Archived from the original on June 21, 2004. Retrieved 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b "State Police post awarded to Powers (continued from Page One)". The Bakersfield Californian. Bakersfield, California. 16 Jan 1945. p. 8. Retrieved 2015. 
  4. ^ "Police chief of 30s, 40s, Robert Powers, 76, dies". The Bakersfield Californian. Bakersfield, California. 3 Dec 1976. p. 14. Retrieved 2015. 
  5. ^ "Police Chief is war duties head (continued from page nine)". The Bakersfield Californian. Bakersfield, California. 20 Dec 1941. p. 13. Retrieved 2015. 
  6. ^ "Robert B. Powers". Bakersfield Police Department. 2001. Archived from the original on May 18, 2001. Retrieved 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Robert B. Powers; Amelia B. Fry (1971). Law Enforcement, Race Relations: 1930-1960. Earl Warren Oral History Project. Regents of the University of California. 
  8. ^ a b Robert B, Power; Pete Martin (August 7, 1948). "Crime was my business (pt 2)". Saturday Evening Post. 221 (6): 38, 73-79. ISSN 0048-9239. 
  9. ^ Rodolfo F. Acu-a; Rodolfo Acu-a (2008). Corridors of Migration: The Odyssey of Mexican Laborers, 1600-1933. University of Arizona Press. pp. 276, 280, 361. ISBN 978-0-8165-2802-8. 
  10. ^ Ed Cray (1997). Chief Justice: A Biography of Earl Warren. Simon and Schuster. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-684-80852-9. 
  11. ^ Jim Newton (2 October 2007). Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made. Riverhead Books. pp. 92-94. ISBN 978-1-59448-270-0. 
  12. ^ "Approves Plan; Chief outlines requirements of position". The Bakersfield Californian. Bakersfield, California. 27 Jun 1939. p. 13. Retrieved 2015. 
  13. ^ Day, Jim (Jul 5, 1965). "Pipefuls by Jim Day". The Bakersfield Californian. Bakersfield, California. p. 13. Retrieved 2015. 
  14. ^ "Mary Holman Dodge". First Women of Kern County. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-02-05. Retrieved 2015. 
  15. ^ "Chief Powers gets enforcement job". The Bakersfield Californian. Bakersfield, California. 11 Jul 1944. p. 13. Retrieved 2015. 
  16. ^ "Powers gets job in state". The Bakersfield Californian. Bakersfield, California. 16 Jan 1945. p. 1. Retrieved 2015. 
  17. ^ Janet Stevenson (June 1969). "Before the colors fade - the return of the exiles". American Heritage: 22-99 (see pages 98-99). Retrieved 2015. 
  18. ^ "Robert C. Knight". Bakersfield Police Department. 2001. Archived from the original on May 18, 2001. Retrieved 2015. 
  19. ^ "Horace V. Grayson". Bakersfield Police Department. 2001. Archived from the original on May 18, 2001. Retrieved 2015. 
  20. ^ Archived from the original on June 21, 2004. Retrieved 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ "SRO Sergeants". City of Bakersfield. Archived from the original on January 23, 2014. 
  22. ^ The Officer Down Memorial Page
  23. ^ City Marshal Thomas Jefferson Packard
  24. ^ Officer Frank Sparks
  25. ^ Officer Aaron Alexander Trent
  26. ^ Officer Floyd B.D.W. Cummings
  27. ^ Officer William Lord Rucker
  28. ^ Sergeant Patrick Don Vegas
  29. ^ Officer William Leonard Sikola
  30. ^ Officer David Joseph Nelson
  31. ^ Archived from the original on April 6, 2007. Retrieved 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ Bakersfield Police - Crime Statistics Archived 2008-07-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  33. ^ BPD Insider
  34. ^ Bakersfield Police Activities League
  35. ^ Bakersfield Police Officers Association
  36. ^ Police get bluetooth fingerprint scanners, car-mounted license plate scanners to fight crime
  37. ^ Jon Swaine; Oliver Laughland; video and photography by Mae Ryan (1 December 2015). "The Counted - The County: the story of America's deadliest police words byand , , Tuesday". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015. 
  38. ^ Rocha, Veronica. "Family demands federal investigation after Bakersfield police kill 73-year-old man". Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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