FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The images coming out of Charlotte, NC are becoming all too familiar. Some worry that kind of civil unrest could erupt in Fresno one day. But at home educators and law enforcement are working to keep the community and police together.
Steve Stephens doesn't wear a badge or carry a gun in Fresno anymore. Not since he was injured in the line of duty. Instead, he educates students at Fresno City College. Students who could be the future of law enforcement.
"Right now they're wondering, 'is this a bad time or a good time to go in.'"
It's a fair question given what's happening on the other side of the country. In Charlotte, there have been three nights of protests, violence, and riots. All sparked by the death of a black man who was shot by a black cop.
There is a separation of community and police, and we've seen it in other cities like Milwaukee and Ferguson.
16:00 "if I had to join today, I think I would look for another profession because there is no respect for the police." 10
In Fresno there is a stark contrast-- after Dylan Noble was shot and killed by Fresno Police there were protests in the streets, but little to no violence.
"The very thing that separates us from other jurisdictions is one word and it's trust," said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
On Thursday, some of Chief Dyer's officers were being honored at a blue lives matter gun auction and dinner.
"I think members of this community trust us to deal with our employees and to hold them accountable when they do make a mistake-- whether that mistake was intentional or not," said Chief Dyer.
Stephens agrees and he said trust and communication are vital.
"Don't rush to judgment, because when the evidence comes out, how do you take back what you've done by looting and burning? How do you take it back? You can't."
Stephens' hoping his students will be willing to pick up where he left off and be part of the change.