Police: "There will be a war on gangs"

FRESNO, Calif.

The crime crackdown came after an especially violent week that included a murder and gunfire near an elementary school.

The city held an emergency meeting Friday where the Sanger City Council voted to enact tougher rules for the curfew.

Under the curfew minors will not be allowed out on city streets past 10pm, unless accompanied by a parent.

An automated message was sent out to let Sanger residents know about the curfew and a new get-tough attitude on gangs and gang violence.

"It's really dangerous, and not they're getting brave, just going up to the places, going up to houses, going up to parties and shooting in broad daylight," said Sanger resident Angelique Fernandez. She said crime in her city has been so bad lately, she's extra careful of where she goes at night.

"There will be a war on gangs it begins here and it'll stop here," said Sanger Mayor Joshua Mitchell. At a news conference Friday, Mayor Mitchell announced his new team of anti-gang officers. The team was put together by Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

"Instead of looking over their shoulder for a fellow gang member, they're looking over their shoulder for police officer," Chief Dyer said.

Shots were fired outside Jefferson Elementary school Friday. The violence shook city leaders to the core. There were no injuries reported, but police said the shooting was a gang related drive-by. The shooting happened while kids were playing at the school.

"That is totally unresponsible number one, and number two it will not be tolerated," Sanger Police Chief Thomas Klose said.

The crackdown is welcome news for Fernandez, her nephew attends school at Jefferson Elementary. "We got a phone call from my father saying they were on lockdown because there's a shooting," Fernandez said.

Last week, one person was killed and two others were injured during another gang-related shooting at a house party.

Chief Dyer said the Fresno officers taking part were not pulled off the streets of Fresno, but were instead pulled out of training to help patrol for criminals.

Under the curfew, anyone under the age of 18 will receive a warning from 9 to 10pm. After 10pm minors will be held by police until their parents pick them up.

The Sanger Police Chief said the curfew will be in effect long-term.

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