FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — Fresno Chief of Police Andy Hall spoke out on what he believes is behind a dramatic spike in violent crimes Thursday.
He posted a message on Facebook touching on recent legislation and calls to defund the police.
He said he checks in with his officers daily and the numbers are shocking.
“I just keep seeing it going up and it’s alarming and I’m frightened, ” Hall said.
He said since April shootings are up more than 70%, and stabbings are up more than 60%.
The last homicide was just last week on Belmont and Effie. Officers said it was a random attack.
“He just walked up to the shop and was asking for help and then moments later the shots were fired,” Lt Tim Tietjen said.
Hall attributed the surge to several factors.
He said it almost perfectly lines up with the zero dollar bail policy going into effect and also believes the attack on the police profession is contributing.
“My job right now is to be that voice for the officers who go out there day to day, risk their lives,” he said.
A 37 member Police Reform Commission was formed last month to change policy within the department.
They were asked to present their recommendations to the city council in 90 days. In a recent meeting this time constraint was a major concern.
“I initially told the council that I though we needed six months to do this work, at a minimum,” commission chair Oliver Baines said.
Hall said some people on the commission have been vocal about their anti-police sentiment. He said a lack of support from elected officials is also contributing to the spike in crime.
“We have some of our community leaders out there some people who actually sit on the commission that are advocating violence and that should be a disqualifier if we’re going to truly look at police reform,” he said.
Hall said he recognized there are flaws in the department, and wants to correct them and said he believes strongly in community policing but also wants criminals held accountable.
“I think that is the future, always has been of police work however we need to be able to respond to crime and reduce crime in our neighborhoods, because you can’t be a community if you’re afraid to come outside,” he said.