FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — Friday evening community leaders, city officials, and the Fresno Police Department came together to share the same message. Stop the violence in and around their city.
Since there has been a drastic increase in gun violence community leaders wanted to host a march that ended with a town hall where people can voice their concerns and come up with solutions.
Joby Jones with the Stop the Violence Organization said it’s important to hear everyone out and collectively move forward with a solution.
“We just want to make sure everyone is on the same page where we get to hear certain voices to see where everyone’s mind is at and come up with the next steps on how everyone can come together,” said Jones.
Jones said it was easy to work with the police officers and he was extremely happy they marched right alongside them.
Deputy Chief for Fresno Police, Mark Salazar says he has patrolled the streets of southwest Fresno and understands the frustration the neighborhoods are going through.
“We are here to let them know that Chief Hall is increasing resources here because we have a problem, we have a shooting problem we have a gang problem,” said Salazar.
According to Fresno Police shootings are up 86% this year and homicides are up 22% this year compared to last.
“We are side by side not just this past week or this past month or this past year but for years we have done that. So, it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal that we have their number they have ours and we call each other all the time,” said Salazar.
Many leaders spoke out about the injustice they see in their neighborhoods and how so many young kids are being taken at the hands of gun violence.
Shawn Robinson with the organization Kids under Pressure said it’s numbing to see his community constantly under attack.
“In southwest Fresno it’s kind of a thing that you’re used to. It’s not something that you want to be used to,” said Robinson.
Robinson said he sees so many kids turn to gangs and get caught up in violence. With his organization he tries to stop the path and get turn kids away from the violence.
“We need to get together as a community with police and try to solve and come up with a solution,” said Robinson.
Robinson believes getting more money to support grass-root organizations is the key to stopping the violence. Along with working with city and state leaders.