Crimes Against Fresno Seniors Could Rise

January 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The Mayor and police Chief said they expect an increase in crimes against seniors this year because the economy is in such bad shape.One resident we spoke to here said any help city leaders and volunteers provide is welcome. Woody Miller had some special guests visit him at his home Saturday morning

The Mayor, police Chief Jerry Dyer and dozens of volunteers went door to door at this living center in Southeast Fresno warning seniors about financial scams, burglary and ways to keep safe "I've been broken into a number of occasions at different places I've lived. And I lost a lot of work I did," said Miller.

To explain how serious these crimes are Chief Dyer revealed some alarming statistics before this crowd of elders. In 2008 there were 71 violent crimes including one murder. There were over two-thousand property crimes. The total number of crimes was more than two-thousand, two hundred.

"What we are trying to do is reduce the opportunity and we're going to do that in a number of ways," said Dyer.

Mayor Swearengin pledged resources would be devoted to prevent these crimes. "Safety makes everything else possible. If we don't have safe neighborhoods we can't advance on our other priorities," she said.

The Mayor and the Chief plan to install police cameras in busy senior areas, track crime that occurs against them and have volunteers make routine house visits to residents like Miller checking door locks, window latches and repairing these safety features if necessary

"It's good to see the chief and those associated with him doing the work their doing. And I think we need more of that," said Miller.

The Fresno Police Chief Foundation paid for Saturday's repairs to latches and locks.

Seniors also expressed their concern over needing better lighting in areas along streets and even fixing cracks.

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