Fresno shootings up 71% since April, says police chief

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno police chief Andy Hall is speaking up about why he believes violent crimes are on the rise in Fresno.

Shootings are up 71% while stabbings are up 64% since April - Hall says likely a direct consequence of the zero-dollar bail policy intended to minimize COVID-19 exposure in jail. The policy was put into effect by the state but has since expired but Fresno County instituted its own version to replace it.

RELATED: Zero dollar bail extended at Fresno County Jail for 90 days amid COVID-19 outbreak at North Jail

"If we kept someone with a gun right now, and we booked them into jail, they are right back on the street before we can put that gun into evidence," Hall said.

In a Facebook post, Hall elaborated on the uptick in violence saying, "Sadly, I also believe that the attack on the police profession and the lack of support from some of our elected officials is contributing to this spike in crime."

He called on the newly appointed Fresno Police Reform Commission to not let criminals off the hook.

The commission, announced last month, is a diverse 37-person group that will recommend ideas for reform to the Fresno Police Department.

"I really have a concern that this commission is agenda-driven and that they don't really want to hear from police," Hall said.

It's made up of community leaders from school districts, churches, local agencies, activist groups, and eight current or former members of law enforcement.

RELATED: Large, diverse group selected as Fresno Commission for Police Reform

Ashley Rojas with the non-profit Fresno Barrios Unidos serves on the police reform commission and told Action News violent crime is at the top of their list

"...Not to address the violence in a reactionary form, to address the violence at root cause. How do we truly prevent it?" she said.

Rojas said the community will soon be asked to participate in reform recommendations too.

The commission began meeting this month and has 90 days to deliver its recommendations to council.
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