FRESNO, California (KSEE) – The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office was out in full force Wednesday as thousands of people hit the street for Christmas Tree Lane’s final walk only night.
Lt. Kathy Curtice said the goal is for everyone to have a safe and fun night.
“We could have tens of thousands of pedestrians, and really our number one goal is to make sure all those pedestrians enjoy the evening,” she said.
She said the sheriff’s office assigns roughly 90 deputies to the detail. It’s a number which is unique and specific to walk nights.
“We have deputies out tonight that are on foot, we have deputies in vehicles, deputies on horseback, deputies on motorcycles, deputies on bicycles,” Curtice said.
Law enforcement on duty used every tactic to keep an eye on visitors.
“The presence of us being so high up allows us to get over the crowd and see what’s going on,” Josh Obar a mounted deputy said.
Visitor Kenny Fenwick has been coming for years and said the increased presence does not go unnoticed.
“Very safe. They’re everywhere. They’re our heroes,” he said.
Obar said them just being around is a crime deterrent. “It’s a lot about being seen and the horses draw a lot of attention, so the attention often times will prevent criminal activity,” he said.
According to the sheriff’s office, children getting lost and people smoking pot or drinking are the big issues. He said eight missing kids were reunited with their parents during the first walk only night on Dec. 3 and, while there were no arrests, deputies needed to kick out three people.
“Thank you very much for everything you do. For keeping us as safe as they can. I know there’s crazies out there but they do remarkable stuff,” Fenwick said.