Fresno's Violent Crime Bureau flexed its muscles

FRESNO, Calif.

Sergeant Rodney Cancio is one of the new members of Fresno's newest division -- the Violent Crime Bureau. He's one of only 75 officers who were selected, 100 applied. In his 16 years in the force -- Cancio says this is the worst year of crime he's ever seen.

Right off the bat new Violent Crime Bureau members were briefed at headquarters Wednesday night on a search warrant for an apartment in Southeast Fresno. Officers say the place has seen four shootings in the past two months. A plan is eventually put into action. More than a dozen units converge on the property a short time later.

Officers find marijuana in bulk and also for sale inside this barbecue grill. A total of 11 people are detained -- three end up in the back of squad cars. Hitting potential gang hotspots is now the bureau's number one priority. The City of Fresno has seen 27 homicides this year -- double the amount compared to last year.

Late last week a nine year old girl in Southwest Fresno was shot in the head. Fresno Police say gang members mistook the car she was in for a rival gang member. That seemed to be the last straw for police.

Capt. Dennis bridges said, "We hear loud and clear when people say, why don't you just let them shoot each other over there. Let them just waste each other. Well what happened last weekend is what happens. These bullets don't have eyes and innocent people get struck."

Captain Bridges will lead the effort and was handpicked by Chief Jerry Dyer to clean up Fresno.

Sergeant Cancio says gang members can run but sooner or later police will find them. "This unit being citywide, with our intelligence division that we have out there, we're going to follow them and push them out of the city."

Many people are asking where the money from this new venture will come from. Chief Dyer and Mayor Swearengin say the bureau will not cost the city any additional money because they're using existing officers.

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