Fresno Police Crackdown on Domestic Violence

May 21, 2009 6:34:32 PM PDT
Violence inside Fresno homes has jumped significantly since the beginning of this year. In most cases ... women and children are the victims of the abuse. Fresno Police just wrapped up a sting designed to stop the men suspected of hurting their own families.The crackdown began at 6:00 Wednesday morning and ended at 9:00 p.m. The focus was tracking down suspects either wanted for domestic violence or on probation and parole for it. The sting ended with 35 felony arrests.

During a 15 hour day, a video provided by the Fresno Police Department shows police, parole and probation officers knocking on 139 doors in Fresno. Places where high risk offenders live or have been known to hang out.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, "I know folks think that we only go after gang members and we do. We do that very well, but we go after domestic violence offenders as well, and those individuals that are abusing children."

Law enforcement made the impromptu visits to make sure those with a prior history are abiding by guidelines set by the court. Unfortunately police found several suspects with their alleged victims, usually their wife or girlfriend.

"People do not generally abuse their spouse one time. It is a crime that continually occurs over and over again and unfortunately it is also a crime that is under reported," said Chief Dyer.

Child Protective Services partnered to make sure kids living in houses with prior hostility are safe. Experts say children learn that violent behavior is acceptable when they live in homes with domestic violence.

Cathy Huerta with Child Protective Services said, "If they were never physically touched, the emotional abuse of seeing partners, parents or loved ones get involved in domestic violence disputes, you can't even imagine the toll that takes on children."

Of the 35 felony arrests, police say 21 were gang members. Most were taken into custody in Southwest or Central Fresno. A grant is helping provide resources to those primarily women and children who have been abused and need outreach. Two advocates hired work with victims to give them options if they want a way out.

During the crackdown one child was removed from a home where a parent left the child with someone who was extremely intoxicated.

These operations will continue spontaneously throughout the year.

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