Tulare Police Chief Still Has Job, Despite Union Misgivings

Wes Hensley remains Tulare’s chief of police and will stay on paid administrative leave, despite a formal statement of no-confidence delivered to the City Council Tuesday night by an attorney for the Tulare Police Officers Union.

No Union Support for Command

Roger Wilson, the union’s lawyer, told the Council that the executive committee of the union had polled its members about City Manager Joe Carlini’s decision to place Hensley on paid administrative, and they support the move.

Hensley was placed on leave by Carlini on September 27.

The union, Wilson said, surveyed officers’ opinion of the decision to place Hensley on leave, as well as on the level of confidence they now place in Hensley’s professional ability.

“The results of the poll showed the union members are in favor of the city manager’s decision to place the command staff members on paid administrative leave and to continue with his investigation of those staff members’ conduct,” Wilson said. “Further, the results of the poll show that the union members have no confidence in the leadership abilities of Chief Hensley.”

Three Officers on Paid Leave

Two other members of the Tulare Police Department have also been placed on paid leave. They are Capt. Fred Ynclan and Lt. Jerod Boatman, both of whom have more than 15 years with the TPD. Hensley has 26 years with the TPD, and was promoted to chief in 2015. The city is currently paying $37,000 a month to cover the three men’s salaries.

Wilson described a workplace atmosphere wherein officers felt afraid for their jobs under Hensley’s command.

“What is clear is that since Chief Hensley took command in November 2015, the union relationship with command staff has deteriorated substantially,” Wilson said. “So much so that many union board members felt the need to step down due to pressure from the command staff, and they feared retaliation if they questioned the command staff’s actions.”

In the statement, Wilson also hinted at misconduct by members of the TPD command staff, though he did not specify what if any misconduct he was specifically referencing.

“No police officer should ever fear retaliation for speaking out against misconduct,” he said.

Wilson did not comment on the decision to place Ynclan and Boatman on leave or the union’s reaction.

No Investigation Started

Wilson’s assertion the police union supports the investigation into alleged misconduct caused Michael Lampe, the attorney representing Hensley, to wonder what it is they know about the allegations against his client.

So far, Lampe says Hensley has received no word about why he was put on leave, other than a reference to “allegations of misconduct relating to an incident on Friday, September 22” included in the city’s letter to Hensley placing him on leave. The letter also informed Hensley he was not to discuss his suspension with city employees.

“That’s it. No notice to what the incident was,” Lampe said of the city’s communication with Hensley. “No notice to what the Chief allegedly did wrong. Just placed on administrative leave for a single incident on Friday, September 22.”

Union President James Kelley and Mayor Carlton Jones apparently met at a Selma restaurant to discuss Hensley.

“Now, you’ve got the union rep saying, ‘We support the City Manager’s investigation,’” Lampe said. “Well, that’s great, except as near as his lawyer can tell, there isn’t an investigation.”

Due Process Violations

Lampe believes there may be an effort to undermine public confidence in his client.

“On November 6, the Mayor gave a public statement indicating his support for the City Manager’s decision to place the Chief on administrative leave,” Lampe said. “Now this, I believe, was designed to leave the impression the Chief had done something wrong.”

He also wants to know what union officials may have learned about the reasons for Hensley’s suspension.

“I want to know what the union knows that I don’t know,” he said. “Because I certainly couldn’t make a decision to support or not support that decision based on the only thing I know, and that is he’s placed on administrative leave because of an incident on Friday, September 22.”

Mayor Jones, Lampe said, has overstepped the limits on discussing an active personnel matter in his public statements.

“It constitutes a serious violation, in my judgment, to the Chief’s due process rights,” Lampe said. “And, in making the statement, the Mayor violated at least three separate provisions of the city resolution governing the release of information in disciplinary proceedings.”

Lampe’s remarks were met by applause from a packed-house audience.

Public Support for Hensley

While Hensley may not have the support of the union, he has the backing of some of the city’s residents.

Ray Fonseca says he and others have collected dozens of signatures for a petition supporting Hensley.

The petition is available online, and supporters are circulating copies.

“These city employees need due process in a timely manner,” Fonseca’s petition reads. “They need to know what they are dealing with.”

Hensley was also given encouragement by support staff at the TPD.

“We respect Chief Hensley, and not having him running the police department is causing low moral and uncertainty that we did not face when the Chief was in charge,” said Tammy Thomas, who represented TPD’s non-sworn employees. “Some of these employees have worked with him for decades. His integrity is above reproach.”

No Contact from City

Meanwhile, Hensley has had no official contact with the city since his September 27 dismissal.

“No investigator has asked to interview the Chief. He hasn’t been asked a single question regarding the alleged incident of September 22. He hasn’t been asked to produce a single document,” Lampe said. “But, he has been instructed to keep quiet, essentially to make it impossible for him to defend himself while the rumor mill is geared up into high gear. And, this has been happening for 10 weeks. It makes no sense at all.”

Councilman Jose Sigala said the Council will seek an update on the city’s investigation.

“I, frankly, don’t know what’s going on,” Sigala said. “My intention … is to ask this matter is brought to the Council in closed session to give us an update on what’s happening.”

Nancy Vigran contributed to this story with additional reporting.

75 thoughts on “Tulare Police Chief Still Has Job, Despite Union Misgivings

  1. So the citizens of Tulare complain that some undue influence was used by the council to remove Mr. Hensley, but by Mr. Sigala’s own admission, the council has not addressed the matter.

    I’m going to suggest that is because it is not a matter for the council, but the city manager.

    Continuing to bad-mouth the council is not productive since department head management is the responsibility of the city manager, not the council.

    • Unless one has concerns that the city manager and the union president are the mayor’s lapdogs! Wonder if CJ has anything on them?

    • Mr. Blevins your devotion to this council is admirable. Have you spoken to any council members? Have you spoken to staff members? Have you made records requests? What are you doing other than vocally supporting the council? You are correct that this is a city manager function. We are all entitled to our opinions and I respect yours however the issues people have with this decision is not based simply on a prolonged time frame but of things Mayor Jones has said, receipts from meetings and conversations with and a history behind the city manager. On the surface this seems to be a simple administrative leave issue but it is not. Were you aware that department heads at the city are at-will employees? Did you know that there is a clause that says a city manager can not fire a department head until after they have been the city manager for 6 months? Did you know that Joe is a few weeks away from hitting his 6 months? Joe has not had any issues with our Police Chief…Mayor Jones does. Were you aware that Mayor Jones was told not to meet with union representatives for bargaining purposes on his own? Were you aware that he has been secretly meeting with them? The appearance of this has conflict of interest, unethical treatment and non-transparency written all over it. Because of that citizens have a heightened concern for what is happening in our city. Because of these things we are demanding answers from city council members. Most council members say they have no idea what is going on. Mayor Jones has said publicly that he is aware of the situation and agrees with it. The city attorney’s response is that this is a confidential issue and no council member is aware of what is going on. This is not a typical administrative leave issue. This is as you put it “undue influence”. To top all of that the City Manager was fired for similar tactics at his last job.

      • I’ve heard enough of this crap. No one else around here seems to have the balls to tell the truth, so I will. Here is just a hint of what is going on at your friendly neighborhood police department.

        Are you aware that the chief stood against his people getting a raise during the last negotiation (even though he negotiated a 15% increase in his own pay)?

        Are you aware he went as far as actively campaigning against them by telling the council that his people don’t need anymore money.

        Are you aware the chief called his officers “dumb asses” to another chief at a social gathering…with one of his own officers present!? The reason for the insult was that his people were fighting for higher wages (which is a battle they won after an independent arbiter stepped in).

        Are you aware the chief and his command staff have threatened to derail the careers of specific employees if they disagree with him?

        Are you aware that if you met with the chief and his staff and it didn’t go well they would immediately take childish action against you? Meeting doesn’t go well so you aren’t allowed to eat with any of your fellow officers while on duty.

        Are you aware the punishment for violations of policy differ dependent on who you are and your current rank? Accident discharge of you firearm in field by officer….major problems. Desk pop by command staff…hilarity, back slaps and then a slap on the wrist.

        Are you aware that the chief launched personal insults at an employee, who wasn’t present, at a management retreat simply because that employee was a member of the union board?

        Are you aware the command staff and the chief attempted to implement body cameras without a policy in place and when he was advised of the legal ramifications of implementing this system without a policy he sent his attack dog, a captain, out and he told a union board member, F you, F Roger, and F the union we don’t need to have a policy in place and we don’t need to meet and confer with you (which is a legal requirement, btw)?

        Are you aware that union members were forced to step down from the board under threat of having their career ruined? Yup, a lieutenant pulls specific members aside and tells them that it is not good for their career to continue to be a union member.

        Are you aware the chief ran an internal affairs investigation into what was said at a union meeting? A conversation which he and everyone else knew was privileged. The goal, simply to teach the union president a lesson. The result was unfounded but the stress it caused the union president sent the message.

        Are you aware that members of the command staff regularly refer to female officers by derogatory names? But the chief has failed to do anything.

        Are you aware that sexual harassment has been a long standing issue at the department? Yet chief has failed to take appropriate action to curb this behavior.

        Are you aware that physical and verbal abuse are constant issues within the department? People have been physically assaulted! But the chief has failed to address this issue.

        Are you aware that the chief failed to take action against an employee who was arrested for sex trafficking?

        Are you aware that 10%-15% of the police force is currently looking for employment elsewhere. The reason these people are looking is due to how they are treated by command staff on a daily basis.

        Are you aware that we have lost 3 tenured officers to outside agencies recently? And the reason they’re all gone is because of how they were treated by specific members of the command staff.

        You wonder why the officers voted “No Confidence”, well here is your answer. You wonder why some officers didn’t vote, well it was because they were too scared given everything that was mentioned above! We may not know the specifics reason for the chief being sent home but we know that this abusive behavior has been going on for two years! So any break from that is good! Why do officers support the investigation? Because they know all the crap that has happened under his reign of terror. The officers know that the investigations will likely uncover years of violations, right many wrongs, and hopefully remove several cancers from the organization.

        Is that enough for you, Valley Voice! Can you finally start doing some investigative journalism instead of the puff pieces and pro chief b.s. that you’ve been running for the past two months? You have some information to look into! Stop the “Pro Hensley” b.s. and start investigating! Do your job and start poking around.

        Hey City Hall…maybe now you can start an actual investigation! This is crap! Get this situation handled! Quit being such cowards and get this investigation going. Given that we put our lives on the line for you, I’d say we deserve that much!

        • AnnonymousOfficer – this might be enough for the Valley Voice, if you would say who you are! I fail to see that reporting has been pro Hensley. Since you seem to have something to say, please write from a legitimate email addy (only the Valley Voice will be able to see it), so either Dave or myself may respond. Or contact one of us – we have both been reporting on this story. I would love for you to speak on the record, or at least be willing to have a conversation with us.
          Nancy – 623-5398, [email protected]

        • You seem to have an “awareness” of just about everything that goes on at TPD and are highly critical of the Valley Voice for not finding all this out in the past two or three months, YET it has taken you over two years to finally share your awareness and you having supposedly had an inside track. As far as the Valley Voice being “pro Hensley” I think you are mixing in the Valley Voice readers posted comments with the reporters written articles…..face it Chief Hensley has a lot of supporters and there are also a lot of questions from Valley Voice readers on how personnel matters are being handled by the City Manager who appears to collude with the Mayor and Vice Mayor’s to force outcomes that these three yahoos wish to achieve. But then again you must already be “aware” of all this too.

          • Good God lady! You are like a dog with a bone!

            Headline:
            Drunk Driver Kills Family of Four: Can you help identify?

            You:
            Jones and Carlini, Jones and Carlini, Jones and Carlini

            Headline:
            Image of Serial Killer Captured
            Can You Help Identify?
            You:
            Carlini and Jones are evil, Carlini and Jones are evil

            You are insane!

            Yeah, I do have an “awareness” (way to make parenthesis snarky…you unhappy shrill) of almost everything in the department and I didn’t say anything because I have a career and a family to think about!!!! Hopefully, you find enough room in your angry black heart to understand that I want to continue to provide food, shelter and clothing for my family and not have my job and career threatened because I chose the wrong time to speak out!!!!

            Now onto my commentary regarding the puff pieces. Several weeks ago there was an opinion piece that discussed Hensley being a nice guy in high school or just being a guy and that these issues weren’t that big of a deal. That’s a bit “puffy” in my eyes.

            Next, I was present at the City Council meeting and the statement read by the citizen who collected signatures was not a pro hensley statement, it was a request for fiscal responsibility…at least as I interpreted it! Maybe I am wrong, but to me the headline of “Public Support for Hensley” seemed to be misleading and was b.s. in my opinion. If I am wrong, please oh please oh gracious and benevolent one can you find it in your heart to forgive me?

            As much as you want this to be about Jones and Carlini…it isn’t! Information has come out about what an atrocious and vindictive leader hensley was and you have chosen to ignore it in order to continue your jihad against Jones and Carlini. Personally, I find that troublesome.

            I sincerely doubt that I agree with your politics based on other posts I have read, but it seemed to me that you would stand up against injustice if it was brought to your attention. The fact that you have turned a blind eye to this issue and have chosen instead to continue your quest to dethrone Jones at the expense of the men and women who work to keep you safe is truly sickening to me!

            Merry Christmas

          • Since there is no reply available at the end of “AnonymousOfficer””s long ranting I just use the reply to my own post that he responded to. Gee AnonymousOffice…..guess I hit a nerve…..sorry about that! 🙂
            You really get unhinged easily don’t you!? Take a chill pill dude, better yet take an extended mental health leave of absence from your job until you get yourself pulled together. Are you also posting as “Woke”….you two sound like echo’s. Maybe a multiple personality disorder issue?

          • Yes, two different people could not possibly disagree with you. Conceited, aren’t we!

            I simply want the truth to come out and the people of the Tulare Police Department to be treated properly.

            You keep chasing your demons and I’ll do the grown up work and deal with the real problems.

        • Sounds like most of your issues are with your pay. Although I would rather pay police officers the same as athletes municipal governments don’t have the money to pay more. That is why we hire a chief to regulate the spending and that is why we have unions to bargain for pay. No new news here! You are a union rep that wants more money and probably didn’t get the promotion you wanted…that equals…hate the chief! All that aside the point here is that the chief was put on leave for investigating the mayor…which he was told to do by the city manager…then the city manager is threatened by the mayor so the city manager puts the chief on admin leave. How do you feel about that? You are an officer of the law? All your other issues have a procedure to be investigated through or bargained on. You seem to be kicking another officer while they are down.

          • So why did the chief take a 15% pay raise and support his command staff to renege on their deal if the primary concern was the budget? The point from the officers’ standpoint has little to nothing to do with the petty infighting at the top level. Most of us could care less about this investigation. We care about the future of this department. We care about retaining good officers. If you don’t remain competitive with the market good people leave. They’re already leaving in larger numbers than TPD has ever seen. All this AFTER the raise. It has to do with a department that’s being operated like it’s 1987. An agency where intimidation is encouraged as the primary means of motivation. An agency where “because this is the way we’ve always done it” is the refrain from management who don’t want to be bothered with new ideas that create work for them. An agency impervious to outside ideas.

            You can keep up your talk about it being about the money and being passed over for promotions. You attack character of complete strangers like a child resorts to name-calling because you have nothing else to go on. Quite frankly, that’s laughable. The lack of confidence in leadership goes right up the chain. Plenty of officers with stripes on their sleeves feel the same.

  2. Only 28 out of 58 officers agreed with the city manager’s actions. The council is not entitled to information since it is a personnel issue. There are quite a few people all sleeping in the same bed. City Attorney was the mayor’s personal attorney in his domestic abuse case, she is also the counsel for the Fresno Fire Fighters Assc which Carlton Jones(Mayor)is president. Why did the mayor need to meet with police union president police officer Kelly, tulare attorney and another individual at Cattleman’s Restaurant and pick up the tab. Nothing like corruption.
    Why has the Mayor been removed for disclosing personal information regard the Chief. The Mayor, Vice Mayor, City Manager and City Counsel need to be removed, their bed is full

    • The local papers, The Valley Voice and the Time-Delta/Advance Register, have touted this statistic but it is incorrect. The union body is made up of 50 voting members (Officers and Corporals) and 8 non-voting members (Sergeants). So the vote was actually far more damning than it first appears, and should be represented as 28 out of 50 voted for no confidence, the sergeants don’t have voting rights. That is 56% of the line staff. That is 56% the men and women who are out there fighting crime on a daily and nightly basis, 56% of the people who keep you safe as you sleep at night, 56% of the people who are trusted to make life altering and life and death decisions have said that they have “NO CONFIDENCE” in the chiefs leadership. We trust these people with our lives, shouldn’t their assessment of their own leadership tell you something?

      If you read the rest of the statement issued by the Union you will see that board members were forced to resign from the Union’s board, that departmental members fear retaliation if they disagree with command staffs actions. To me that sounds like they may have been involved in Union busting (illegal), targeting of employees (illegal), and creating a hostile work environment for individuals they disagree with (illegal).

      Yes, approximately 20 voting members of the union did not vote. The evidence leads me to believe that those people didn’t vote because they feared targeted retribution from Hensley and the other two, should they all come back.

      It seems the most likely reason to me.

      • There are 150 police employees correct? Only 30 of them said no confidence? Could it be that they don’t want to vote for fear of retribution from union reps? What is the vote of no confidence for? No one knows why the Chief is on leave according to council and the city attorney. Sounds like union reps fighting for power they feel like they don’t have.

        • I will attempt to answer your questions in order…

          1) I believe the number of employees at the Tulare Police Department is closer to 120-130. But the number of employees is irrelevant. I say that because only a certain number of those employees belong to the Tulare Police Officers’ Union. This is the Union or group that voted that they had “No-Confidence” in the chief or his leadership abilities.

          To answer a question that hasn’t been asked but is important for everyone to understand, the Tulare Police Officers’ Union is made up of sworn law enforcement officers who hold a rank no higher than sergeant. These are the men and women who respond to your calls for service, get in chases with bad guys, and put themselves in harms way on a daily basis. Even though the union allows sergeants in the union, the sergeants do not have voting rights. So the relevant number of employees, for the discussion regarding “No Confidence”, is 50 not 120-130.

          2) There could be any number of reasons someone decided not to cast a vote either way. I am not sure how a union rep is going to retaliate against a fellow officer who says they have confidence in the chief, but if that somehow makes sense to you then so be it.

          I believe that the more likely reason for the people not voting lies in the press release put out by the Union, which the Valley Voice should publish. In the statement it says that Union members have been forced off the board by command staff and that they fear retaliation from the command staff should they question the command staff’s actions. To me it sounds like those who withheld their vote did so because they feared retaliation from the command staff and those on currently on leave, should they return.

          3) The vote of “No Confidence” is because the sworn line staff has been exposed to the chief’s “leadership” and has found it lacking. Again, the fear of retaliation by the command staff for anything conceived as the smallest slight could have something to do with this. The bottom line is that the men and women who work to keep you safe on a daily basis have lost faith in and do not approve of the “leadership” of the chief.

          3) People do know why the chief is on leave. I would be willing to bet a good number of the sworn law enforcement personnel at the Tulare Police Department know why the chief is on leave. But this is a personnel issue and there either is currently or will be an investigation so in order to maintain the integrity of that investigation these men and women keep their mouth shut.

          I realize that response #3 was a response to a statement and not a question, but I feel it was a statement about which I could render an opinion.

          In regards to your final statement, it seems to be a faulty conclusion based on the evidence as I see it, but this is America and everyone is entitled to their opinion.

          • It’s my understanding that we don’t have a copy of that press release. If you’re in the know, or know someone who is, can you send it over? We’re not holding anything back here. My email is [email protected].

        • No one cares what anyone other than the officers has to say about the situation. The officers don’t have faith or confidence in the chief and they’re the ones whose butts are on the line when he makes a bad decision.

          I read in another paper some blow hard named Tammy Thomas took a vote of non-law enforcement employees. Note to this Tammy Thomas person, no one cares what you think about the department’s leadership. You aren’t out there on the front lines every day and night. You are either taking calls or pushing paper. So a bad decision by the chief doesn’t put your life in danger, unless a paper cut is considered life threatening!

          • So I’m guessing that you are a Tulare police officer. If not then by your own stated opinion no one should care about what you have to say as well. Also if you are a police officer but not with the TPD then one could hatefully reply that TPD department leadership is none of your business and you should mind the chickens in your own hen-house. Just sayin! 🙂

          • Babs,

            First and foremost…you’re not “Thee Babs” are you? You know, Streisand. If so, I loved you in Yentl and Funny Girl! If not, I’m sure your still pretty awesome!

            You are absolutely correct! If I work there and I am a sworn officer (which I can neither confirm nor deny), then mine and those of my peers are the only opinions that really matters. I’m the one with the gun and the vest. If support staff wants to step up and stand a post then I might start listening and caring about their “confidence” in the chief’s leadership and decision making ability. But until that point his leadership and decisions don’t threaten their well being. When they have skin in the game I’ll start to listen, but until that point I couldn’t care less what a bunch of clerical staff has to say about the head law enforcement officer’s leadership.

            As for me belonging to another agency (which I can neither confirm or deny) and commenting, that is a false equivalence. I’ve never said Tammy Thomas couldn’t speak or make statements, though I wish she wouldn’t. I’ve simply pointed out that her vote is meaningless.

            In order for the two scenarios to be equal I would have to obtain a vote from people at my department regarding their level of confidence in the Tulare Chief and then I would have to go before the city council, make a statement, and then make statements to the media….just as Tammy Thomas did. Now the scenarios are equal and you can tell me my vote doesn’t matter.

            Now, it is my belief that in both of these scenarios, Tammy Thomas and the support staff vote and me and my different agency vote…our votes don’t mean S&%*!

            Neither group suffers as a result of bad decisions or leadership by the police chief. The officers, on the other hand, suffer greatly. That’s why the officer votes matter and the others don’t.

            Clearly, the officers have spoken. For some reason you don’t like what they have said. Well…too bad. Facts are facts. The officers have “No Faith” and “No Confidence” in their chief!

            Tammy Thomas can continue to talk all she wants, though I wish she wouldn’t, but her vote tally is meaningless.

    • what’s with Cattlemans being the meeting place for corruption that’s where Boulki, Kumar and Benzeevi were spotted a few years back! Birds of a feather flock together for juicy steaks, geeze

  3. The city manager is as shifty as the mayor..lets get them both out..the citizens of Tulare should have a say..put it up to vote on…dirty dogs are all up in this

    • Yup…them are both the south end of a north bound horse…we need to start us a petition to hold elections on a regular basis so we can get these big city slick talk’n political types out’a our city.

  4. Interesting that this article took time to highlight the goal of timeliness in an investigations. “These city employees need due process in a timely manner,” Fonseca’s petition reads. “They need to know what they are dealing with.”

    Is the public aware that Jackie Coffman, a department employee, was arrested for being part of a sex trafficking ring? She was placed on leave, by Hensley, almost a year and a half ago. She is still getting full pay and full benefits. As of today there has been no internal affairs investigation into her involvement.

    Her case is going before the courts soon. If she wins and is acquitted she gets to come back to Tulare PD. It’s too late to do anything about the internal affairs investigation. Bang up job by leadership!

    Yup someone arrested while wearing a Tulare Police Department shirt for being involved in a sex trafficking ring could come back to the department, because this administration didn’t have the balls to deal with this issue!

    Look it up for yourself! Operation Baby Face, Jackie Coffman. I’ll wait.

    No confidence, no kidding!

  5. Jackie Coffman is the wife of Gary Coffman who resigned from TPD, he was a evidence technician and worked for the city for 18 years prior. They were both arrested in connection to the human trafficking case. I wonder if Hensley would like to run a honest police department and others don’t want to quit playing dirty?

    • Wait…are you saying that Hensley, who had the opportunity to run an internal affairs investigation into Jackie Coffman and decided not to, is being targeted because he was trying to clean up the department?

      HE DIDN’T RUN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATION! INTO SOMEONE ACCUSED OF BEING PART OF A SEX TRAFFICKING RING!!!! IF ANYTHING EVER SCREAMED “PLEASE INVESTIGATE THIS MESS AND CLEAN THIS UP!” IT WOULD BE SEX TRAFFICKING!

      Okay, okay, just so I understand, the down and dirty of your argument is that by not running this investigation he was trying to clean up the department! AND that type of tip top management practice scared so many people that a city wide conspiracy was launched to rid the department of Hensley?!

  6. Mayor Carlton Jones is dirty. He wants to run for California Assembly. NO way now for sure does he have a chance. His past will follow him. Like credit card fraud? or his Arrest Record. Maybe just that he can’t keep his mouth shut. He violated the Brown Act by meeting with the Police Union and by talking to the city manager without the Whole city council present. In the end this disgraced Mayor sealed his dreams of Power at the state capital. If you fail as a good solid mayor Of a SMALL city What makes him think he could ever be elected at the State level.

  7. How is it that the Times-Delta Advance Register after all these months doesn’t have an inkling as to what’s going on. Is no one willing to talk? Even off the record? Seems like poor reporting to me. You’d think the scuttlebutt and gossip would be flying around the department. Please, let’s get some teeth in these stories. What happened on September 22!

  8. Man, Tulare Police Department sounds like paradise compared to TCSO. That’s one boat that hasn’t sank yet but the crew members are leaving by the boat loads! Hmm, wonder why?

  9. Just an observation – seems the union represented officers want more money and Chief Hensley has a budget to worry about. Wonder how the City Manager feels about it. He seems to be on the speaking circuit about the CalPers system and the impact to to the city. Wake up officers it is underfunded and the average taxpayer is fed up with paying more for the lucrative benefits.

    • It just depends on what type of law enforcement agency you want in your city. Do you want a steppingstone agency with high turnover and officers with little training and skill or do you want highly trained and highly competent officers. You can’t have it both ways. Those officers made a pact with the city to pass on raises during the economic downturn in 2007. No raises were had since that time. As you can imagine, other municipalities became more attractive to highly sought after candidates during that decade of no pay raise. If you want a steppingstone department that’s fine, but you get what you pay for. The free market is at play even in the public sector.

      • Well said Bradley! Absolutely correct. The union acted in good faith and the city did not.

        The union said its people deserved more than the 1% the city offered and the chief said we did not. Quick note, Tulare was at the bottom of the agreed upon survey cities regarding pay and only two places higher when total compensation was considered. The chief said his people don’t need or deserve any more money.

        These facts are easy enough to check. Ask the Union members who were negotiating what the chief’s position was. Get a copy of the arbiter’s findings regarding the city’s honesty during negotiations. This is one of the issues I mentioned in a previous post. Verify and you’ll see that this is true, as is everything else I outlined.

    • If the primary concern was maintaining a budget then why did command staff, after coming to an agreement with the city a year prior, go and demand a renegotiation for the same raise the union fought for. All this after telling the union time and time again they were foolish for requesting a raise and that the city couldn’t afford it. Then they turn around and demand what the union fought and paid for? Did more money magically appear after the union got their raise that wasn’t there before? Was there no longer a budgetary concern? It’s a slap in the face and was perceived to be done out of spite. It was also never addressed even though a majority of officers were offended.

    • Truth…you too is truth’n it up in this post…I’m also sick a seeing officers drive’n them newer model cars and live’n in them newer houses on a east side…thought they’s out to serve the public not become the next “Mark Suck-r-burg”…

    • I know a thing or two about what’s going on at TPD. I’ve stayed mostly neutral through most of this feud over the past few years. ‘Anonymous’ may be giving one side of the story but there are no lies or exaggerations in his/her comment. You have to ask yourself if the department is better off than it was two years ago amidst a scandal involving the former chief and two non sworn employees being charged for sex trafficking. Personal feelings and relationships aside, the fact that morale is worse and turnover is high is unbelievable. I thought that was rock bottom. I was wrong. I hope this is rock bottom but I’ve been wrong before.

  10. I heard the command staff took what city offered on raises including the chief because it was fair. 15% is not what was offered so it is a lie.I also heard that the officers wanted more. Who got more, Command staff or officers. I also heard that he said you deserve more but the city could not afford more than all of you were offered. Tell me, are you someone who was passed up for promotion, disciplined maybe? As for the lies, not just one, but all of them.

    • Command staff agreed to one deal a year before the union came to their agreement. Yes, the officers wanted more because TPD was no longer competitive and they hadn’t had a raise since 2007. The longest of any department in the county. Not all officers are created equal. Do you want officers to get their foot in the door, get some training, develop into great officers, then leave? Or do you want officers who are highly competent, highly trained, and have a dedication to the city they work in? You have to give them a reason to stay. You have to be competitive. Pay is one aspect of that. Work environment is another. The pay was seriously lacking and the work environment has been plummeting for years. The union fought and paid for their raise and an independent third party that both sides agreed to said the officers’ request was fair. Command staff, who tried to convince the union that the city was broke, then went back and asked for the equivalent of what the officers received. All this after chastising the union for being greedy. If the city was actually broke why would command staff go and ask for more? Out of spite? Are they greedy too for asking for the same raise? Where was their concern for the city budget when they asked for more than what they originally agreed to? And what business is it of command staff to interject into negotiations between the city and the union? What well-run agencies do that? They shouldn’t be involved.

      You can’t make blanket accusations of lies unless you have some sort of support. It sort of kills your credibility. If you close your eyes and plug your ears and repeat that everyone is lying I imagine it’s easier to sleep at night and believe everything at TPD has been run impeccably. The department is in shambles. ALL failures fall on leadership. If that’s not their mindset they’re not cut out for it. True leaders take full responsibility for the state of their department. They don’t point fingers at others, especially not those that work under them or alongside them. If the officers of this department felt passionately about the leadership of command staff they would be present in full force at every council meeting. A majority are either indifferent or in favor of these investigations. Thus, they are absent from meetings. These officers are not inspired in the least by this administration. That’s a problem.

    • Concerned,

      What you heard was wrong. Plain and simple. Check your sources, because they are lying to you.

      Chief didn’t negotiate with everyone else. His negotiation was separate and unto itself. He took the 15% increase and the position of chief became “at-will”, which it hadn’t been prior. Remember all of the problems getting rid of Breckenridge? It was because the position required cause to terminate (that mess is a separate discussion entirely). That is no longer the case. Now the chief can be fired without cause, which will likely happen in the very near future.

      Regarding who got more money, the command staff or the union, they both ended up getting the same deal…after management reneged on the deal they agreed to and demanded the same deal the union fought for and won. Here’s the story….

      Management accepted a deal approximately 1 year prior to the union winning its case. The captains, per the chiefs request, decided to apply pressure down the management ranks to accept the deal offered by the city. It is believed by most around the department this was done so as to apply pressure to the union by forcing them onto an island. Higher ranking officers could no longer outwardly support the unions efforts as they had accepted the city’s initial offer. Anyhow, a lieutenant was given the assignment of gathering all of the signatures and told sergeants that the chief wants this deal done and that everyone else is going to sign it, so there was no benefit to not agreeing to the deal. The unstated message was don’t go against the chief, so everyone signed regardless of how they felt for fear of retaliation by the chief (see a trend). The management group accepted the deal and the union fought on.

      This type of split, between the union and the management, had never occurred, at least not in recent memory. Previously, management would simply let the union handle negotiations, would support the unions positions and then would agree to whatever the union agreed to. This was done so there was no hostility between groups and no “us vs. them” animosity. Everyone played for the same team and we were all on the same side.

      The union continued to fight and approximately a year later they won their case. The arbiters findings are in the hands of both the city and the union (Note to Valley Voice…see if you can get
      a copy of the arbiter’s findings. You’ll see that the city was dishonest and did not negotiate in good faith.). The arbiters statements in the findings were that the city had not negotiated in good faith and that the city was dishonest about the city’s finances. The report also indicates that the recommended contract was a good “starting point”. What’s important to note is that the new contract only brought the police department up to the middle of the pack regarding total compensation when compared to other cities of similar size, that’s why the “starting point” wording was included in the findings…the city is going to have to pony up in the future. Also noteworthy is the fact that the city fought using the survey cities they agreed to during previous negotiations. The reason they fought using these cities, which they were contractually obligated to use, was because these cities had given their officers big raises and Tulare was at the bottom of the pack regarding officer compensation. So it was devastating to the City of Tulare’s case to use these survey cities. But now I’m in the weeds, back to the heart of the story.

      Now that the union had won their case and received more money than the command staff, some within the command staff began throwing a fit. They wanted more money too. The problem was that they were so concerned about doing the chief’s bidding and applying pressure to the union that they did not add a “me-too” clause in the contract they signed a year earlier. Although some within the command group believed that they should simply learn their lesson and honor the contract they signed, the chief told the captains and the lieutenants that they should demand the city give them the same contract they gave the union. Members of the command staff were contacted and told of the plan. They then stormed over to the city managers office, with the blessing of the chief mind you, and demanded that they get the same contract as the union.

      The city eventually gave in and gave the command staff the same contract they gave the union. Why the city gave in I will never know, but they did. In the end everyone received the same contract, but it was the union board and it’s members who did all of the work and financed the fight. A fight which the command staff insisted the union would lose and was stupid for engaging in.

      The funniest part about this whole ordeal is that the command staff, because they had done such a bang up job negotiating their own contract without the unions assistance, decided to form their own bargaining unit! The group that gotten taken to the cleaners, believed a snake oil salesman, did the bidding of the chief, signed a bad contract, mocked the union, got bested by the union, threw a fit like a bunch of children and cried until they got their way now formed a bargaining unit. Unbelievable! If that doesn’t make you question those leading the department, then I don’t know what will!!!

      In fairness there where some very logical pragmatists who believed this to be foolish given what just happened, but they were overruled by those who were higher ranking and dedicated to doing the chief’s bidding.

      So, “Concerned” there is the whole story. Check the arbiter’s report, check and see if the command staff formed a second bargaining unit, and check and see if the chiefs pay along with the chiefs job description changed (pay increased and job description now includes language “at-will”). I don’t believe any of that information is confidential.

      Although I may have used some colorful language the timeline of events and the events themselves all took place, even if no one from the command staff actually “cried”.

      Now my concern is that we have gone off the rails a bit. That episode may have been the cause of a good amount of friction between the ranks, but it is not the most serious of the issues I highlighted. Please tell me what other issues you believe to be “lies”.

      Sexual harassment, verbal abuse, assault, intimidation, union busting, etc. are all serious issues, and all have occurred with frightening frequency at the Tulare Police Department. These are serious problems and they need to be addressed, but you seem to want to ignore these problems and then deflect the conversation onto Mayor Jones. Mayor Jones has nothing to do with any of the issues at the Tulare Police Department. Chief Hensley and his attack dogs are the reasons for the problems at the department, and they alone are the reasons that the officers voted that they have “No-Confidence” in him as a leader and that they support the investigation into the three men on leave.

      Merry Christmas

      • Wasn’t there a stalemate on the city making a deal with the union? It hadn’t got anywhere and wasn’t going to pass until a new council was elected. Two of those council members are/were union people themselves(Sigala works for SEIU and Carlton is a Fresno firefighter and the union rep in Fresno) So existing council thought it wasn’t a good deal for the city but new union member council men pushed it through. Sounds like the fox guarding the hen house.

        • Or could it possibly be the democratic process at work? Sigala was overwhelmingly voted into council. Nunley was voted in. All this after Hensley and Ynclan pressured the union to not endorse the mayor, Sigala and Nunley (unethical). The bargaining process was ongoing. They approved it.

          You demand due process for Hensley but mock the democratic process and fair and legal means by which the union sought out and earned their raise. A raise much lower than Hensley took. A raise he mocked. A raise he eventually flip-flopped on and supported… for his command staff. But he did that in the interest of fiscal responsibility, right?

          And now he’s going around telling officers he’s going to, “own that [email protected]!$ing place”… that’s our fiscally responsibile leader who you say is beyond reproach and a model of professionalism? “I’m going to own that [email protected]&$ing place”? Seriously? You think we want a guy back who says things like that?

          Bring him back. Bring them all back without consequence. Watch good officers leave in droves. All the best ones at least. Why endure 10 more years of this when you can go work for any agency in the valley? An agency with their ducks in a row. They’re all hiring and they’re all chomping at the bit for good laterals.

          The city can either retain poor leadership or lose a ton of talented young officers who love their jobs. Officers who just want to work somewhere where actual police work is the focus of leadership. Not who’s saying what about who. Not spending 90% of their time trying to stomp out dissenters and manipulate officers to turn on one another. Good officers leaving is not a threat, it’s a fear. It’s my legitimate fear as a member of this community. And I assure you it will happen if monumental changes don’t take place. You can blame other people all you’d like but ultimately leadership has to take responsibility for a department where morale is in the absolute gutter. If it’s not their responsibility then whose responsibility is it?

          I could care less about who the mayor is and who the city council is comprised of. A majority of this department could care less. We just want leadership who is thinking about the future of this department. We’ve been in a hole for years and every action by command staff has done nothing but dig it deeper, and deeper, and deeper… they never once elevated themselves above the petty B.S. Instead, they lowered themselves and took every one down with them. They put their emotions and their needs before the betterment of the department time and time again. Winning arguments and gaining compliance meant more to them than the development of the department. They sure showed us who’s boss.

        • Agree Citizen…I believe like you that ain’t no union members should be allowed to vote or endorse them a candidate…we shouldn’t a let no members of no union run for nothin’…you keep preachen the truth Citizen..

      • Ain’t no way no ones gonna believe that story…ain’t nobody gonna believe chief or his staff is that stupid…nice try “A-non-mouse”…yeah you a cheese eat’n rat…best hope we don’t meet

  11. I agree there is no credibility, a police officer meeting and conspiring with a man who strangled his wife while his daughter watched in terror tells me he has no more credibility than the man who did it. This is what the valley voice found in his background and what has been published.

    • Citizen you’s my kinda guy…you keep truth’n this here article…maybe the so call “Valley Voice” n these here cry’n officers would do their so called “jobs” they’d get the courts involved in them claims…also agree that these here so called “officers” shouldn’t be allowed to talk to no politician ’bout nuthen…

  12. I feel so bad for all the honest and honorable police officers fighting for our city. I think the young are misguided by the disgruntled, passed over for promotions, officers that do not care about anyone but their own vendettas.

    • There are PLENTY of officers of rank who feel the same. The narrative that this all stems from a few disgruntled employees is patently false. You’re obviously in an echo chamber. You’ve also yet to support any claims of lies. You attack character. Classic move. Dirty defense attorneys do it all the time when they have no evidence. They attack the character of officers they don’t know because that’s all they have. You have lowered yourself to that level. You make assumptions about the careers of officers you don’t even know. It makes it easier to avoid addressing the tough questions. You are unable to separate personal feelings from objective observation. Sleep tight.

  13. I think we are all ignorant until your Chief is able to speak. Talk about kicking someone when they cannot defend themselves. He has a gag order and cannot defend himself until an investigation is over. What investigation? If he is guilty of something, wouldn’t you want to know what it is? Why have they not done an investigation? Who makes these decisions to not investigate, does he have no rights except to sit back while people destroy his name? If the city council does not know what is going on, is it the city attorney who decides? Why is he not ordering this investigation and what is he trying to hide? It sounds like this has not been investigated because someone does not want something to come out. I guess we will have to wait until there is an investigation. There are a lot of RED flags here.

    • There are many, many more red flags in these comments made by several officers that have next to nothing to do with Mayor Jones or the city attorney. You choose to ignore those red flags because it doesn’t fit your agenda as you seem hell bent on settling the council’s hash at any cost and obviously have a personal relationship with Hensley that is blinding you to his ability to successfully lead a department.

      The fact that several tenured officers have left is a red flag. The fact that a dozen more have applications out is a red flag. The fact that Jackie Coffman was never investigated after being arrested for sex trafficking juveniles is a red flag. She might come back and resume her previous job… what was that??? Oh yeah, investigating missing juveniles… does that constitute a red flag? But we went ahead and investigated officers for “disparaging remarks” about command staff. But not sex trafficking the types of children you were in charge of protecting? No need to investigate that. Calling a member of command staff a bad name takes priority. The fact that only one officer voted in confidence of Chief Hensley… ONE… that’s a red flag. The fact that there are no groups of officers at council meetings in support of Hensley… red flag. The fact that two months ago there was a large faction of officers at council meetings supporting Hensley and now they’ve changed their minds… red flag.

      I’m starting to feel a bit like Bill Engvall … Heeeeere’s your red flag…

    • City attorney is a female. If your going to cast aspersions at someone at least get their gender pronoun right!!! God help me! You can’t even get the smallest of facts right!!! And you know what…that is what is so frustrating about this whole escapade. People with no idea what is going on insist that they know everything and have all the information, but when someone comes along and presents real facts they are called liars! After calling these people liars you then espouse some other conspiracy theory that pulls attention away from the issues that really need to be addressed! You and your ilk are standing in the way of real progress being made as far as educating the public is concerned!

      If you don’t even know the gender of the City attorney, who is obviously part of some grand conspiracy you concocted, then why are you on here waxing philosophical about anything? You obviously aren’t familiar with any of the facts, the procedures, or any of the players!

      To borrow a quote from the great Walter Sobchak, “you have no frame of reference here, Citizen. You’re like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know,,,”

  14. With the turmoil going on and no chief present, I would leave also. Can the chief fire someone before they have a court hearing? Has this person been tried already? I hope so because anyone that is sex trafficking should be in jail!!!

    • Wait a minute. I’m a tad bit confused. Aren’t you the very same concerned who said that everything the police officers were saying was a lie. I mean, when you were asked which specific lie you said, “not just one, but all of them.”

      Additionally, in an attempt I guess to show us just how smart you are, but only successfully proving what absolute dolt you truly are, you ever so sarcastically asked if we had been passed over for promotion or had been disciplined. Which seemed to indicate that these type of actions would cause us to simply make things up. Seriously, there have been some truly idiotic theories espoused when defending the chief, but that is the laziest most juvenile thing you could have come up with. Seriously, it’s so bad it sounds as though it came right out of the mouths of Tulare Police Department management! You may not get it, but that is truly insulting as they are the most inept group of morons ever to lead any organization.

      But now you seem to be accepting one of the stories the lying, too stupid to promote and undisciplined cops seem to be telling.

      What has changed? Is it that maybe you looked up the information I recommended? Maybe you simply asked someone in the police department? Either way…welcome to the grown up table!

      We are going to make this really easy for you to understand.

      Officers were leaving well in advance of the chief being placed on leave. Please refer to “Anonymous” post about everything going on in the department to understand why this is occurring. Of course rereading that post would require that you put you “Hensely is possibly the second coming of Christ” attitude aside and read it with an open mind!

      Yes, the chief can fire someone prior to them going to trial.

      This procedure requires an internal affairs investigation, which the department could have initiated at any time after they were made aware of the arrest or during any one of the 16 months that followed.

      Finally, no she hasn’t gone to trial yet. But, kudos for FINALLY taking a stand against sex trafficking! Maybe in 10-20 years you might put on your big person pants and take a stand against sexual harassment and violence in the work place! But, hell….I’ll take the baby steps….

  15. I think the public have a lot of questions unanswered, it will be nice for him to be able to answer questions, but he cannot defend himself with a gag order. Has there been an investigation started yet? Why would you not start an investigation to find out the truth unless you do not want the truth of something coming out? Will there ever be an investigation. When his lawyer said the Chief wants this public, that sold me.

    • It can’t be public! It’s a personnel issue!!!! The appeal can be public, but not the initial investigation!!! This has been explained over and over…forget it! I give up!

      You know what…no…back to the kids table!

  16. The investigation has to be conducted first, to present findings, unfortunately it hasn’t even started, why? Because nothing to investigate. The city attorney needs to go also, concidering she represented Mayor Jones in his domestic case, she is also legal counsel for Frenso Fire Fighters Association in which Mr Jones is President, ummmmm

  17. There are comments here from a lot of different individuals – anyone who would like to discuss these matters further and is willing to go on the record – please email or call me [email protected], 559-623-5398.

  18. I just read something very interesting on the Tulare City Council Perspective facebook page! Now I understand why certain police officers are so vocal on the comments, sounds like a very ugly political move by a corrupt politician. Two police officers meet up with the mayor as he uses our taxpayer money to pay for a 122 dollar meal then gets caught fraudulently using city credit card, City manager asks for inverstigation, Chief investigates, I am guessing the mayor does not like that and threatens City manager, City manager put Chief on paid administrative leave ( again, tax payer money), City Attorney is a buddy of the mayor, this is some crooked stuff. This sounds like something out of a mystery novel and it keeps getting better and better. I am sick of corrupt politicians and our tax payer money getting used for corrupt officials!!! Not to mention a Chief who has had to sit back and watch from the sidelines as his reputation is destroyed, makes me ill. NOT TO MENTION the police officers that are a part of this! I guarantee the meeting was a plot on the chief. According to the article the mayors wife and daughter were at cattlemans and a Shirley temple was ordered. I do not think two police officers were drinking Shirley temples. I am thinking someones daughter ordered that on the city credit card. Then the mayor pays the bill after he finds out he is busted! Enough is enough!

  19. Ok, based on current events…..The Chief of Police is put on Admin leave? Then shortly after two additional command staff officers, a Captain and a Lieutenant?

    Fast forward a few weeks and now the POA is all for the investigation and the demise of the Chief and for the most part it would be assumed the other command staffers?

    You have “Anonymous Officer” “Woke” and “Wokest” all but crying mutiny, based on the “Gestapo” style command tactics. I believe I read officers have been threatened with their careers sexually harassed, assaulted, cursed at, pressured, stressed, and asked to step down from POA positions (if they know what’s good for them).

    Also I read where The Chief is accused of dropping the ball on an internal affairs investigation? I think the year long criminal investigation trumps the I.A.. Also I believe there is case law on this.

    One of you even took the time to bash your own civilian support staff….. dispatchers and office/clerical staff. Simply for supporting their Chief and not having the same mindset or opinion as you………that speaks volumes of the situation.

    This all comes after a steak, shrimp and a Shirley Temple? Between the Mayor, his family and the POA President and a retired officer……..Wow.

    So I/We, the citizens of the Peoples Republic of Tulare are supposed to stomach all this?

    To the officers in peril and being mistreated by the command staff for so long……….Why? Based on the posts these incidents didn’t start the night of the (Now) infamous Cattlemans Dinner? This has been on going…….I would even venture to say that some of those on the command staff, were not on the command staff?

    You have a POA….. you obviously have representation of an Attorney…… why not take all of these allegations to a higher power? District Attorney, Calif. Department of Justice, State Attorney General, Labor board, heck maybe the ghost busters?
    In today’s magical world allegations like this pay out handsomely……….and you keep your job or go to another agency on your own accord.

    Something is a little funky and everyone is starting to see it unfold. If more officers are against the command staff, than are for the command staff and you have waited for this particular time to stand on your soapboxes, expose the dirty laundry, grand stand and throw mud……..you brothers and sisters got problems, big problems.

    Your relying on the good Mayor Jones, City Manager Carlini and City Attorney Phillips to properly run an investigation you (or some of you) agree with? Or is this simply a cheap means to an end of the “Gestapo” . You think they start dumping command staffers, all of a sudden you’ll be in the good graces of those three? The City’s purse strings will open up, the homeless, the gangs, and dope will disappear?

    How about this, everything you have accused or claimed the Chief/Command has done to you…… The good Mayor and City Manager have also been accused of. I mean the things that people have accused the good Mayor of are pretty serious right? Things you’d draw a case number for and get some statements. Shoot some of his antics are public record. The City Manager has a great article from a Palm Beach FL. newspaper on his firing. The Attorney…… meh….. all I can see is, she did represent the good Mayor in a criminal case and she is the Fresno Firefighters Union’s Attorney, which I believe the good Mayor is the President of? Not sure, but no doubt he pays union dues.

    Not to mention where this all seemed to start……. the unauthorized use of a City credit card to pay for a dinner with the POA President.

    This is your dream team, the team your vouching for to take down this great tyrant who has caused hate and discontent among the troops.

    What is the end game? A new Chief? An entirely new command staff? Who will it be? An outsider? A big city Captain from out of the area or somebody within the ranks? The POA President maybe? He seems to have a solid relationship with the good Mayor. Shirley Temple’s for everyone!!

    I just hope some of you haven’t made yourself pawns in a game you can’t win. Look at what’s happening to your department, you are allowing the Mayor to pull your strings, it’s obvious he is the City Manager’s puppet master.

    Worst case scenario, you’ll have to pull security for the good Mayor’s next party at the outlet mall. Or maybe do patrol checks on the marijuana dispensaries or guard money runs.

    Remember brothers and sisters the reason why you got into this profession. This honorable profession.

    PS – Woke’s posts appear suspiciously familiar. The structure, language, grammar and how they read…. very knowledgeable of a situation nobody seems to know anything about…….It’s like I’ve seen them before.

  20. Wait, The Mayor has had credit card issues in the past with the city credit card, Then he is paying for a dinner with the union president a retired police officer and his family on the city card. Asked to be reimbursed by city. After VV Story has wife go pay the bill at the city? If that alone doesn’t scream fraud. Was the Chief investigating the Union or the Fraud? There has to be a lot more to this story. If Hensley gave up his rights to privacy. Wants everything open
    to the public, maybe thats why the city hasn’t started an investigation on Hensley. The excuse of saving money is BS on hiring the Investigator. I agree with Barbara, this is entertaining. With AO and Kelly crying not fair, poor me, it’s laughable. If AO and Kelly are such Great Police Officers then they would have no problem getting a job in Visalia or the TCSO or any other PD.

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