Fresno police may move specialty unit to Manchester Center

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno police are hoping to get approval to move one of its specialty units to an area where crime is a problem and residents say they feel increasingly unsafe.

Crime around Manchester Center is an issue. But, with this move officers would be closer and able to act faster.

The Violent Crime Impact Team or VCIT would respond from Manchester Center, providing a presence neighbors and city leaders agree would make them feel safer. Fresno City Councilman Clint Olivier represents district 7, which includes the area around the mall.

Olivier said, "Just by the simple fact we're going to have this much police activity- folks going in and out of Manchester Center, I think that sends a great message to the people who live around here that your neighborhood is valued and security is a top priority."

Safety and security at the FAX Bus Station in front of the mall is also being addressed. Typically, five calls a day are generated from the transit station. The calls are everything from theft to aggressive panhandling.

"In this next budget, the city is going to be beefing up its FAX officers," explained Olivier. "It's been reorganized, so that FAX officers aren't going to be responding to traffic accidents involving buses. They are going to be focused on safety right there at Manchester Transit Center."

Many neighbors say they welcome any police presence. Even though VCIT only addresses violent and more serious crime, neighbors say it's good so next time there's a shooting or stabbing officers will be closer when they need their help.

If approved, the lease would be for five years, and free except for the cost of utilities and phone services. The city council will address the proposal on Thursday.

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