With Fresno crime on the rise, mayoral candidates outline plan to make city safe

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According to the latest Fresno Police Crime Report, violent crime, aggravated assaults vehicle theft and robbery in Fresno are all up this year. (KFSN)

Fresno mayoral candidate Lee Brand has a plan to fight crime in the city

"We can't accept status quo," he told a crowd. "We have to take bold initiatives."

On Monday, with local leaders by his side including former mayor Alan Autry, Brand laid out his five-point plan to keep Fresno safer if he's elected mayor.

"We must build a bridge of communication with the community and our police department," Brand said.

According to the latest Fresno Police Crime Report, violent crime, aggravated assaults, vehicle theft and robbery in Fresno are all up this year. Brand's plan calls for increasing the number of police officers on duty from about 800 to 1,000.

And instituting community policing throughout the city, creating a Citizen's Police Advisory Board to provide more accountability of the police department, and joining California mayors and county supervisors to force Sacramento to return five percent of income tax to Fresno. He also plans to fight the state's policies on releasing convicted felons.

"Chief Dyer supports the 1,000 officers," Brand said. "If you look at any city our size, the ratio of police officers to the population we have means we're under."

"When Lee Brand wants to add 200 more police officers to the Fresno city police force what he's talking about is raising taxes," Fresno mayoral candidate Henry Perea said.

Perea, Brand's opponent in next month's mayoral race, claims to have a superior plan.

"My plan is quite the opposite," he explained. "It's more taking a look at the officers that are in the department now that are not in uniform. How do we shift more of those folks back into uniforms, back into patrol cars into neighborhoods and see that doesn't cost taxpayers more money."

Brand plans to pay for his initiative by convincing Sacramento to give back five percent of the state's income taxes to Fresno.

"Other cities like San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, every city and every county has the same dilemma we do," Brand said. "That's why we believe if we could get the inertia, we could start the effort going by these cities and the collective power of all these cities we're going to have a powerful voice in Sacramento."

"Lee Brand is chasing rainbows thinking he's going to go to Sacramento and get five percent tax revenue back," Perea countered. "It's not going to happen and what I think he should be focused on is how do you make Fresno safe today. Today, people want safety in their neighborhoods. They want safety for their kids."

Fresno voters will decide who will make that call on November 8, Election Day.
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