Cops beef up patrols in Northwest Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

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Dozens of extra patrols were called in in an effort to crackdown on a spike in violence. At one point, more than 50 uniformed and plain clothes officers patrolled the streets. Chief Jerry Dyer was among them.

"What we find over here are gangs going around with a gun either looking for trouble or arming themselves to defend themselves because they're being targeted by another gang," said Dyer.

Officers saturated the streets, targeting hot spots known for gang activity.

"We had 20 shootings within the last month in Northwest Fresno so we've increased our deployment of personnel," said Dyer.

Dyer was among a handful of officers involved in a traffic stop near the intersection of Fruit and Dakota, not too far from the Northwest Police District. During the stop, four men were busted for drugs; one was arrested for having a loaded firearm inside the car.

"Our goal is to displace it (the violence), disrupt in and make these guys tired of being involved in gangs," said Dyer. "If the violence moves to another district, we'll follow."

On Wednesday, officers with several district Crime Suppression Teams, Neighborhood Traffic Units and day motor units were brought in to patrol the area. This after a recent rash of violent crime.

On Tuesday, officers responded to a shooting at an apartment complex on Marks and Fairmont. When police arrived, they found a man, identified by officers as a known gang member, in an alleyway with multiple gunshot wounds. The man was rushed to the hospital where he's listed in critical condition, but is expected to survive.

Hours later, officers surrounded an apartment unit in the same complex, believed to be the location where the shooting took place. They later determined no one was inside.

As officers patrol the neighborhood to cut down on crime, they have a message for the criminals.

"We're doing heavy enforcement, basically zero tolerance on anything gang related," said Sgt. Bob Reynolds.

Reynolds said the department plans to keep an increased number of officers on the streets through at least the summer months, if not more.

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