FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The Fresno Police Department is answering the call for more officer presence on the streets, but not in the usual way.
The department is placing officers in areas where crime is a concern, with the goal of improving ties with the community.
The police chief is changing his mindset on how the Tower District and El Dorado Park are policed. He wants stronger ties, to help solve crime and provide better service.
Two officers in the Tower District will be stepping out of cars soon and onto bikes. It's a redeployment of resources for the Fresno Police Department and a return to community policing.
Chief Jerry Dyer explained, "Whenever officers engaged in the community and in a neighborhood, there's more of a likelihood they are going to be reporting crimes to us, giving us information about who may be responsible for those crimes."
Keeping crime down has been the primary focus of the Fresno Police Department over the past five years. But with budget cuts and fewer officers, Chief Dyer says just managing crime trends and resources, has been a major challenge. The result has meant less personal customer service.
Chief Dyer said, "We've gotten so focused on crime and just handling emergency calls that we, sometimes haven't been as good at problem solving as we could or should be."
The El Dorado Park neighborhood, formerly known as Sin City will also be getting a new mini substation near Bulldog Stadium.
Hollis Johnson lives near Fresno State and believes the police presence will also help build a healthier community.
Johnson said, "I think it's great, for the kids, you know, they could get the chance to know some of the kids and cut down on gang activity and stuff like that."
Officers will be shaking more hands and meeting neighbors where they patrol.
"What citizens really want when they pick up the phone and call 9-1-1, they want a police officer to come quickly, and they also want police officers to care about problems they have in their neighborhood," said Chief Dyer.
The chief is also hoping to open a storefront office in the Tower District. The office would be a place for those on patrol to write reports, make calls and take brief breaks.