Shootings in Fresno up 50 percent in 2012

FRESNO, Calif.

The plan involved using current resources, like the Violent Crime Impact Team (VCIT), to fight gun crimes. In addition, Dyer has assigned a single detective to deal with gun cases. "In the last week, he's already authored or prepared five search warrants, including seven homes, involving 15 weapons," said Dyer.

The plan also includes an awareness campaign to get the community's help. The department is doubling the reward for tips leading to the arrest of people with illegal weapons to $600, up from $300.

In a show of solidarity, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, Benjamin Wagner, joined Chief Dyer with a message. He said the agencies will work together to prosecute many cases federally, where they are harsher penalties and prisons that are further away. "We're not here to rest on our laurels. We're here to say we're doubly determined in the face of this increase in recent shootings in Fresno to deploy all the resources we can to securing the people of Fresno.

Since the start of 2012, there have been 19 more shootings in Fresno than last year. On New Year's Day, Rusty Roberts lost his 26 year old daughter, Sarah to gun violence. He stood by Dyer Thursday, hopeful the effort would make a difference. "If it changes one person's thought process where they wouldn't hurt somebody, than all of this is of value," said Roberts.

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