Fresno police target gangs in new operation

FRESNO, Calif.

Hundreds of officers are flooding the streets to take down a gang whose members are accused of shooting at the off-duty officer.

Chief Jerry Dyer told Action News there are around 10,000 validated gang members operating in the city; 6,000 of which belong to one of the most notorious gangs known as the Bulldogs.

Last week, the department launched a strategic operation targeting its members and so far Dyer believes it's working.

Fresno Police officers like Chad Soares and Nathan Roby are saturating the city; zeroing in on neighborhoods where Bulldog gang members are known to operate.

On Tuesday, they stopped a man suspected of being under the influence of drugs in Central Fresno, but he was quickly cleared of possession and released. They said it was just one example of the type of enforcement they're conducting all over the area.

"Pretty much it's no tolerance for Bulldog gang members, we're out in full force," said Roby.

Chief Dyer said putting the squeeze on one of Fresno's most violent gangs is the department's latest strategy to crackdown on crime.

"We want them to know that we're watching them, we're taking away their anonymity, we don't want them to feel like they can roam around our city and be involved in drive-by shootings and we also want to make sure they're looking over their shoulder for us and not a rival gang," said Dyer.

The increased focus comes on the heels of an officer involved shooting where an off-duty cop was shot at six times by Bulldog gang members who had followed him for several blocks.

"I'm happy to say over the last seven days we've made significant strides," said Dyer.

Over the last week, officers made 394 felony arrests; 147 of which were Bulldog gang members. Dyer said they also seized 15 firearms and served 13 search warrants.

"We're targeting those individuals that are involved in gang activity, criminal activity, possession of firearms, possession of drugs, people on parole, on probation and violation of parole and probation so the arrests are across the board," he added.

Their message, he said, is that violence will not be tolerated and crimes will have group consequences.

The arrests are meant to disrupt and discourage violence on the streets.

"I think it's making an impact as long as we keep pushing forward with these efforts then it's making a positive impact on our community," said Roby.

Chief Dyer said he doesn't plan to let up anytime soon and he wants families to know officers are taking care of gang activity in the community.

"We're going to continue with this operation, we're not taking our foot off the gas. We're going to continue to pursue gangs in our community and Bulldog gang members in particular," he said.

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