Taking back their streets: Fresno neighborhood hosts block party two months after gang shooting

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Just two months after a gang shooting sent shockwaves through a northwest Fresno neighborhood the community is working to take their streets back.

The West Shaw Estates community is not only celebrating the return of warm weather, but they're also reflecting on their progress.

"It's been so fun to watch this community grow over the years," said Captain Burke Farrah.

In what was once considered a dangerous neighborhood, the community has taken major strides to turn itself around.

"There are still violent acts that occur, but they're spacing further out," Farrah said. "What used to happen two or three times per month now happens two or three times per year."

Northwest Captain Burke Farrah with Fresno police says they responded to five shots fired calls in 2018, and two for this year. The most recent was back in February where a gang feud sent two people to the hospital with gunshot wounds.

Since then police have ramped up patrols and worked with organizations like the HOPE Coalition and the complex's neighborhood watch.

"I've been here for 30 years, and we're not just going to take it anymore. We're tired of that," said neighborhood watch captain Ronald Hollinger.

Hollinger says Saturday's block party brought the entire community together with music, games, prizes, but more importantly community engagement.

"That's more of what we want to see more of, kids and things like that," he said. "Family oriented things in this neighborhood."

Workforce Connection and the Police Chaplaincy were two of several organizations offering employment and volunteer opportunities.

"There are good people here it's had a bad name and a bad stigmatism to it, but we're turning it around," Hollinger said.

Law enforcement and regency management are working to make sure the entire area has surveillance cameras that will eventually have a live feed that goes straight to the police department.
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