Fresno police out in force, maintain order during downtown protests

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Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer was front and center helping direct traffic Friday as protesters greeted Donald Trump at his rally at the Selland Arena. (KFSN)

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer was front and center helping direct traffic Friday as protesters greeted Donald Trump at his rally at the Selland Arena.

It's not a common role for someone who runs the police department, but it was one he says he felt compelled to do.

"I did not want this department or city to be portrayed by the media as unprepared," Dyer said.

Action News cameras spotted Dyer in the middle of the protests on top of a police car using the P.A. system

"We do not want confrontation," Dyer said to the gathered protesters.

He was telling a group of demonstrators sitting in the middle of the road what they needed to do.

"We want all of you to please walk west," he said.

People in the crowd say it was nice to see Dyer taking a hands-on approach.

"When I saw Chief Dyer down there, I felt so comfortable," said Helen Samourian, who was in the crowd. "He's going to protect everyone."

"With no gear, no helmets and he was walking right up to the people," witness Brad Hardie said. "I watched him for about 15 minutes and was just amazed."

Dyer says along with having officers on the ground and in the sky, video screens in the Real Time Crime Center at Police Headquarters also came in handy when keeping an eye on the protesters.

"These operators could then let our folks know if, in fact, there was a location that is vulnerable," Dyer explained.

Though he may have been the man in a uniform most recognizable, Dyer says the success of the Trump event was the result of every man and woman who was out there wearing a badge.

"Our officers today were officers of the people they were part of that community," Dyer said. "Not just the Fresno Police Department, Fresno County Sheriff's Department, Clovis PD, California Highway Patrol -- everyone responded flawlessly."
Related Topics:
newsfresno police departmentjerry dyerfresnoprotestdonald trumpFresno - Downtown
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