A couple hundred people gathered at Quigley Park, located in a neighborhood where several shootings have taken place in recent months. "A definite change. A scary change for those of us who live in Northwest," said La Tanya Gentel.
Fresno Police reported 23 shootings in a five week period in the Northwest policing district summer, leading them to step up their suppression efforts in the area. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said their efforts worked. "Over the last four weeks, that number has been reduced to three shootings... We've had dramatic reductions in violence," said Dyer.
While police officers continue their stepped up efforts to curb violent crimes, they're hoping neighbors will do their part as well. Dyer said that's what National Night Out is all about... bringing law enforcement and communities together to take a stand against crime.
While the event only comes once a year, people at Quigley Park were hopeful their event would have a lasting impact. "So people can see that in spite of it being so bad, we do have a safe haven here. We have the police officers here and everyone is getting along," said Gentel.
Police said their suppression efforts haven't ended. In fact, they've expanded deployments city-wide, putting 35-40 extra officers on the streets Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.