Fresno Police Change Gang Tactics

February 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Fresno Police changed up their tactics Wednesday night in the ongoing battle against gangs. It's clear crime and gangs are a major concern for Fresno residents.In an exclusive Action News Poll conducted late last year by SurveyUSA, 25% percent of those surveyed in Fresno said crime is the most important issue facing the city. Gangs came in a close second at 22% percent. Both ranked much higher than economic issues.

Fresno police are in the final hours of a one day operation targeting Southeast Asian gang members. In all, police hoped to hit 50 homes in Southeast Fresno Thursday to do probation and parole searches and show gang members they know who they are.

Around 40 police officers were in Southeast Fresno Wednesday night. For them, the entire day was spent tracking down gang members; going to their homes, and meeting up with them on the streets.

Fresno Police say four Southeast Fresno gangs are responsible for a recent rash of shootings, including one last Friday, when Fresno police officers came under fire.

Wednesday, officers spent their day knocking on doors in hopes of sending gang members a message. "First and foremost, we're going to get to know you. The gang lifestyle is not going to be acceptable in the city of Fresno. And you're not going to enjoy anonymity. We're going to know who you are and what you're doing," said Herman Silva of the Fresno Police Department.

During these probation and parole searches, officers looked for any clue the parolees are still involved in gangs or other criminal activities which could put them back in jail.

Police also have an interpreter on hand to educate family members about the consequences of their loved ones' actions.

Police say the goal is to put as many gang members in jail as they can. While Wednesday's operation focused on Southeast Fresno, police want gang members to know tomorrow, they could be anywhere.


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