Police gear up for summer crime in Fresno

June 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
It is the first full day of summer and Fresno Police officers are gearing up for what could be a busy season of crime.

Friday nights tend to be one of the busiest for patrol officers, especially after the Fresno Police Department received numerous threats from gang members.

"We were maintaining a high level of officer safety as far as being aware of our surroundings, especially going into areas where we knew there's high gang activity," said officer Michael Hernandez.

On the first day of summer, the service calls kept coming in for officer Hernandez. One woman was arrested for being in possession of meth near Belmont and Fresno. And it is calls like this that generally pick up as the "Dog Days" of summer drag on.

"Traditionally, summer gets busier, it gets hotter. People come outside, alcohol is consumed more and when that happens, generally our calls for service rise," said Sgt. Pete Boyer.

The department is working to reduce gang activity. Recently the department seized 10 guns in a series of raids on suspected gang members believed to be behind the officer threats.

"Each weapon that you take off the street is a good thing for us in law enforcement," said Boyer.

But not all calls involve gangs and drugs. A Fresno resident near McKinley and Pike called 911 after she found a toddler, alone, in the middle of the street. Twenty minutes passed until the parents who live down the street realized their child was missing.

"Apparently he is old enough now where he can open up the door," said Hernandez. "I will be contacting Fresno County Child Protective Services to recommend a follow up with their agency just to check on the residence."

While this call had a happy ending, officers realize those do not happen too often. And while no recent threats have been made against officers, they remain extra vigilant going into summer.


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