Police step up DUI checkpoints, monitor social media on New Year's Eve

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Law enforcement across the Valley was out in force to ensure a safe celebration. There were also DUI checkpoints set up to catch drunk drivers.

But Fresno police also saturated the streets with officers and kept an eye on what people were posting and tweeting. 60 extra uniformed officers were on duty in Fresno for New Year's Eve. That included more than 30 who are assigned to the Violent Crime Impact Team, like Sgt. Brian Phillips. "Our goal is to have a nice, quiet and peaceful night and let everybody go out there and enjoy the New Year," Phillips said.

He said officers were proactively preventing crime on critical nights like New Year's Eve.

Fresno PD just wrapped up a gang enforcement operation that brought the arrest of hundreds of criminals and took many weapons off the streets. "Hopefully we're still seeing some of the results of removing all those guns from the streets, locking up the gang members," Sgt. Phillips said. "Hopefully some of that reward is tonight, where there's a large potential where things could get out of control."

Chief Jerry Dyer even assigns a team to monitor social media, keeping an eye out for problem parties. "We monitor social media to find out where large parties are going to occur," Chief Dyer said. "Because we know ultimately what happens is there may be a limited invite list, but it expands through social media."

Patrol officers were doubled up for the holiday. It was an effort to have more eyes and ears on the streets, but to also protect officers.

While there have not been any threats toward Fresno police officers, the attack and death of several others across the country leaves our local cops on guard. "Our job tonight is to make sure we go home, as well as everybody stays safe," Phillips said.


If you plan to drink while celebrating the new year -- please don't drive. AAA is offering their Tipsy Tow program. Starting at 6 p.m. through 6 a.m., you can call 1-800-222-4357 for a ride home -- and you don't have to be AAA member. It's also free up to ten miles.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.