(Angela Greenwood Reporting)
It's a constant battle for local police: dealing with domestic violence crimes.
The problem is in the spotlight Fresno Fire Chief Rob Brown was recently arrested on domestic violence allegations.
Fresno police deal with thousand of cases each year.
The number of domestic violence crimes appear to be going down, but at the same time, officials say the abuse is becoming more severe.
Domestic violence has been a long standing problem across the Central Valley. In 2012, Fresno police reported more than 6,000 cases, which is about 500 incidents a month.
The numbers are staggering, but Sgt. Larry Bowlan with the Fresno Police Department says they've actually dropped by 16% over the last two years. "We had over 7,100 cases in 2010. That was decreased to less than 6,700 in 2011," said Bowlan.
Pam Kallsen with the Fresno's Marjaree Mason Center said, "Domestic violence in our community really impacts everyone across all socioeconomic and cultural lines. It really does not discriminate."
The Marjaree Mason Center is a safe haven for battered women and children. Even though the number of reported crimes has gone down, Kallsen says the abuse that is happening is getting worse. "We're seeing a lot more victims being discharged from the hospitals to the Marjaree Mason Center. We're hearing a lot more horror stories that are just unbelievable," said Kallsen.
Officials say increased severity of the violence could be a result of better access to weapons, or growing mental illness and substance abuse problems.
It's a never ending fight for police, but through a federal grant, the Fresno Police Department's Domestic Violence Unit has beefed up it's resources and hopes the downward trend will continue.
So far this year, the Fresno Police Department has received there about 2,700 reports of domestic violence.
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