On Wednesday, dozens of officers hit the streets to conduct probation and parole searches. A total of 49 people have been arrested on felony charges. 26 of whom are gang members. Several guns were also seized.
Thursday night, Fresno Police continue to make their presence felt in southwest Fresno as directed by Chief Jerry Dyer.
“Far too long have people lived in some of these neighborhoods with fear,” said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
Both officers and residents have been on high alert since Sunday. That's when police shot and seriously injured 24-year old murder suspect Jerel Stanfield. Investigators say Stanfield, a known gang member, had a gun on him. Tests revealed the weapon has a long history.
“This handgun has been used to shoot five people in three different incidents to include a recent murder,” said Chief Dyer.
Violence statistics show murders are down in the city. This year there have been 10. Last year at this time there were 13.
Meanwhile, shootings are up. There have been 91 vs. 85.
60 of this year’s shootings are gang-related. In 2012, that number was 44. That’s an increase of 27%.
Some gang members want payback for police shooting their buddy.
“There are some general threats against police officers and specific threats against named officers,” said Chief Dyer.
As a precaution, officers are doubling up in patrol cars and shifting off motorcycles to avoid being such easy targets.
“We will not be intimidated by these gang members, nor will we be deterred from the job we're entrusted to do,” said Chief Dyer.
Bob Mitchell, a longtime resident of southwest Fresno, offered this message to potential trouble makers.
“The best thing anybody can do right now is calm down,” said Bob Mitchell, a southwest Fresno resident.
Mitchell believes if that's done, only good things can follow.
“Everyone will become safer. Officers, individuals in gangs and all of us in our community,” said Mitchell.
Until then, law enforcement will continue large scale deployments which will be unannounced and target specific people.
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