Increase in gun seizures and traffic stops leads to decrease in Fresno shootings

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Police have seized more than 100 guns from the streets of Fresno this year and it's led to a drastic decrease in the number of shootings. (KFSN)

On the wall of the police substation in Southeast Fresno, every picture has a story. Sgt. Adrian Alvarez remembers how each of the 56 guns was confiscated, the suspects connected to each weapon, and the lives these firearms may have taken.

"These officers, they did this. It kind of brings some pride to their work and it motivates others to say hey, I want to do that too. Also just to showcase look at all the stuff that's out there," said Sgt. Alvarez.

The city entered gang operation mode in January, after a spike in shootings. Police Chief Jerry Dyer sent three Special Response Teams into the most dangerous neighborhoods. The results have been astounding.

"There were 150 shootings this time last year, that number has been reduced to 104 shootings this year," said Chief Dyer.

One of the most recent high profile arrests came from Sgt. Alvarez's team. After a short chase, they pulled over a suspect believed to be a gun dealer. Detectives say he had tossed a gun and magazine out the car window as he tried to escape.

"9 out of 10 times again they are holding a gun, they are dumping the gun as we are chasing them," said Sgt. Alvarez.

RELATED: As car break-ins increase, Fresno Police say ridesharing app users are a target

There are no shortcuts to this kind of success. It requires thousands of hours on the street making hundreds of traffic stops, and the work never ends.
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