Fresno Police patrolling Walmart stores

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Fresno Police officers are now patrolling local Walmart stores inside and outside. (KFSN)

You may feel a heightened sense of security the next time you visit a Fresno Walmart; police officers are patrolling inside, and outside.

"An officer there has the power to make an arrest, the power to take somebody to jail, they can call other officers if they're needed by radio," says Fresno Police Lt. Mark Hudson. "Someone is going to think twice before committing a crime at a Walmart when they see an officer."

Walmart began using contract policing with the Fresno Police Department last year so they could work together to stop thefts in their stores. Since 2017, four Walmarts in the city have been equipped with officers on duty up to 14 hours a day.

"It's just a busy place. There is a lot of people going to Walmart throughout the city," says Lt. Hudson.

The Fresno Police Department says the majority of crimes that happen at Walmart are petty thefts, car burglaries, and occasional disturbances.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says the loss of merchandise at Walmart due to shoplifting has decreased so much with the addition of their officers, that those savings have quickly paid for company's expenses for the increased police presence.

Not only has policing business properties reduced crime, but officers also hope it makes shoppers feel safe.

"When they see an officer there, they'll know that they are safe, they can go in there and shop. They're there to prevent problems or to assist in anything on site that needs a police presence," says Lt. Hudson.
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