Improving Public Safety for Fresno Women

January 23, 2009 10:39:52 PM PST
Mayor Ashley Swearengin is working to make sure people in Fresno feel safe at home and while they're out. Especially women who are alone. It's one of the ways she plans to improve public safety.Mayor Swearengin is working on a few different initiatives to make sure that people who are out feel comfortable. On the campaign trail she says many women told her that crime and their safety was a concern so she's working to address it with the police department.

Olga Mandler spent Friday running errands with her young daughter Fresno State student Kelly Colin was out shopping too. Both feel fine during the day but come nightfall that all changes.

Kelly Colin said, "Right now I feel great like its safe, quiet, calm. Sometimes at night though I don't feel the same, it depends on the shopping area, what stores I'm going to, that kind of area."

Olga Mandler said, "Under certain circumstances when you hear about robberies or people losing their jobs or things like that, you kind of wonder ok are you safe to go shopping."

Mayor Ashley Swearengin says recent research showing women feel rather unsafe at night, concerns her.

"There was a survey done over the summer by Fresno State 61 percent of women feel unsafe in their neighborhood at night and that was a pretty startling number that really jumped off the page for me," said Swearengin.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer is working to develop an action plan to help women feel more comfortable.

Dyer said, "What we want to do is to take a look at that survey find out why women feel unsafe and what would make them feel safer. Is it increased lighting w/in their neighborhood would neighborhood cameras make them feel safer at night?"

Some women hope that an investment in their safety will improve their comfort level, whether it's while they're out for a jog or out for the evening.

"I think it's great because she's a woman so she probably has the same feelings that we do as women that as tough as we might think we are, we're not that strong to fight a man," said Mandler.

Swearengin is behind a new plan being unveiled Saturday for the elderly. She plans to create an initiative for women in the coming weeks.

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