Crime in Downtown Fresno decreasing

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As local businesses and promoters are focusing on Downtown Fresno for their venue of choice, the added foot traffic is undeniable.

This time last year Downtown was hosting close to 40 events per month, that's grown to 80 or 90.

So Fresno Police have increased their presence in the area with the Downtown Policing Unit, even adding close to 20 patrol officers.

"It's a very energetic group of officers," said Sgt. Alfonso Castillo of the Fresno Police Department. "The change of approach that they had its no longer a reactive type of unit, it's prevention that they're focusing on."

The boundaries for the Downtown Policing Unit now covers an even greater area, but in a year to date, comparison crime is on the decline.

"We have great reductions in downtown crime: robberies are down 71%, burglaries 14%, and vehicle burglaries, one of our biggest concerns, down 43%," said Castillo.

Add to that zero homicides and virtually non-existent overall crime around Chukchansi Park.

The handful of incidents they say they've had were crimes of opportunity like purses and laptops left in plain sight.

The added police presence and community events helps businesses and non-profits in the area like Cornerstone Coffee Company.

They've been at their Fulton and Stanislaus location for three years.

"Crime is not what people think in Downtown Fresno, even the homelessness is not a big issue here on Fulton," said Lighthouse Recovery Executive Director Vikki Luna.

Her group was originally on the fence about opening in Downtown but now says the community is one of a kind.

"We've taken precautions, but it's been a friendly environment, the local businesses are very friendly, its just been a good experience."
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