Fresno police Operation Bulldog cracks down on gang members

FRESNO, Calif.

Police initiated Operation Bulldog two weeks ago and during that time officers made hundreds of arrests.

The Central Fresno neighborhood near Tyler and Thresta Avenues is a major hotspot for gang activity. Violent assaults like one that left a man wounded on the ground are scaring innocent families who live nearby.

"People have to live around them. Terrorize the streets, intimidating the people so they don't become witnesses those types of things. When we try to put the pressure on them it definitely makes the community feel a little safer," said Todd Turney with the Fresno Police Department.

Turney and a team of seven others on the south bureau impact team have seen a recent jump in gang violence. The spike comes on after the December 2nd shooting. On December 2nd an off-duty officer was shot at six times by Bulldog gang members who had followed him for several blocks. Soon after the shooting a tactical team rolled out for Operation Bulldog.

"We started actively investigating that particular incident, started serving search warrants, probation searches, and parole searches. The biggest thing is we started putting the pressure on them," Turney said.

Over the past two weeks police made 895 felony arrests throughout the city. Three –hundred-seventy-one of those arrests were of Bulldog gang members.

Investigators are focusing on getting weapons out of the hands of gang members.

"Looking for guns especially, any type of guns, knives, we are seeing a lot of the guns stolen through residential burglaries, illegally obtained. Black market purchases," Turney said.

On any given night the average officer working Operation Bulldog makes about 15 to 20 searches with the goal of finding illegal guns. Tuesday Fresno police say they found eight guns owned illegally.

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