Community members hoping to curtail crime in Northwest Fresno

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A kickoff event in Northwest Fresno brought out community members of all ages on Saturday. (KFSN)

Police say they've seen a significant increase in violent crime in Northwest Fresno, but now one community outreach group is hoping to change that.
This week, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said violent crime has increased 40 percent in their northwest district over the last year. So while they're doing some community policing of their own, community members are now stepping in too.

A kickoff event in Northwest Fresno brought out community members of all ages on Saturday.

"We said, 'You know what? Let's take that message of hope and of love into those neighborhoods,'" said Michael DeJuarez of the H.O.P.E. Coalition.

Until now, the H.O.P.E. Coalition has focused its efforts on Southeast Fresno. And they say with the help of local churches and community members, they've been successful in reducing violent crime there. In fact, Chief Dyer says that's the only policing district that's seen a decrease in violent crime, whereas northwest has seen an increase of violent crime by 40 percent in the last year.

"I think northwest really is in need of that," said Herman Quinoez with Campus Bible Church.

Northwest Fresno's Campus Bible Church recently hooked up with the H.O.P.E. Coalition to start hosting community events, like Saturday's kickoff event at Quigley Park. DeJuarez says events go beyond entertainment or handing out groceries.

"There's hope left that resonates in that community that it is OK to have these types of events and that children can feel safe and come back out and be able to experience that park," said DeJuarez.

Fresno police are now using 30 extra officers in northwest to help combat violent crime. But DeJuarez says while they have the same goal of keeping the peace, they use a different approach.

"Whereas we're not taking people out of the neighborhood, we're trying to empower the people in the neighborhood," said DeJuarez.

DeJuarez is encouraging any church or community organization that wants to get involved with this kind of community outreach to get in contact with him.

Mike DeJuarez
Fresno H.O.P.E. Coalition
(559) 307-2604
mdejuarez@cornerstonefresno.com
Related Topics:
crimetrackercrimeviolencecommunityneighborhoodpolicefresno police departmentsocietyfresnoFresno - Northwest
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