Fresno Police cracking down on gang violence

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Less than 24 hours after a 12-year-old little girl was the unintended target of a gang shooting, Fresno police are pulling out all the stops to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"We realized we gotta do something now not later," says Fresno Police Lt. Larry Bowlan.

Bowlan says the department is taking a proactive approach when it comes to tackling gang activity within the city.

"We're doing a large saturation with anywhere from 30-50 officers a night assigned to the gang operation."

That doesn't include already deployed district officers assigned to so-called gang hotspots within their policing area.

"We're going to make a lot of contacts and we're going to make it uncomfortable for gang members who are creating havoc, not just for rivals but for innocent people living in these neighborhoods."

Within the first three weeks of 2019, 10 of the 15 shootings citywide were tied to gangs.

Though the target of the operation was gang activity, the heightened police presence meant fewer traffic violations and DUI drivers.

According to Bowlan, gang members don't care what time it is - but there are peak hours they've noticed.

"Usually from 8 p.m. - 4 a.m., we see 75% of all of our shootings. But it doesn't mean they won't do one at 6 in the morning or when the lunch crowd is out," he says.

After this gang operation is over in a few weeks, they'll re-assess to see if they need to extend it or focus on different parts of the city.
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