Sex Offender Flyer Sent to Fresno County Residents

October 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A flyer sent out to more than eleven thousand residents who live in unincorporated county islands is sparking a new debate between the Sheriff's Department and Fresno city leaders. The mailer claims the city of Fresno has lost track of a large number of registered sex offenders.The flyer alleges 14 percent of sex offenders who live in the city of Fresno are basically missing and their whereabouts are unknown. The flyer is in response to recent talk of having Fresno Police taking over patrolling county islands.

Thousands of Fresno County residents opened their mailboxes to find a flyer ... a message paid for by the Fresno County Deputy Sheriff's Association.

FDSA President Eric Schmidt said, "We're basically trying to educate them and let them know that the mayor is actively coming after you or says she is and we don't want to stand idle and let that happen."

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says he found the flyer disturbing and full of inaccuracies. He said, "I cannot believe this flyer was sent out because it really does nothing but create fear in many members of the community members and the second thing is the numbers are misleading and they are untrue."

The mailers were sent to registered voters in Sunnyside, Mayfair, Tarpey Village and Fig Garden. The Deputy Sheriffs Association says it stands by the flyer and its claims.

"This is business, this isn't personal. I don't want this to get to whose better type of thing. I want to know why the mayor is so pursuant on these county islands," said Schmidt.

Chief Dyer says he knows where dozens of sex offenders who are unaccounted for are-- in the Fresno County Jail. He believes the flyer accomplished only one thing. He said, "The simple fact is this has done nothing more but create tension between our agency and their agency."

Mayor Ashley Swearengin refused to respond on camera, a spokesman for the mayor's office told Action News, "The mayor is only trying to have a discussion about the most efficient use of resources."

The Fresno County Deputy Sheriff's Association says 60 deputies patrol the county islands in question and they would lose their jobs if the city takes over police enforcement.



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