Violent crimes appear to be on the rise across the city of Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- New numbers for the city of Fresno show violent crime is up 12% after being on the decline for the past five years.

A dangerous trend that started the first of the year again has the Fresno police chief taking action. Chief Jerry Dyer is shifting officers to deter violent crimes like robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

"We're looking at our numbers very very closely and trying to determine what is driving those numbers," said Chief Jerry Dyer. "We're having some audits done. We're having our crime analyst look at not only where those crimes are occurring but time of day, day of week."

Although the territory and call volume is different for deputies working across the street at the Fresno County Sheriff's Office, violent crime is down 9% this year. Property crimes are a bigger problem right now in rural areas.

"Burglaries, both residential and commercial," said Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office. "On the violent side, we have noticed robberies have gone up a little bit, even the last month. We don't know exactly why that is but it's definitely something on our radar."

Chief Dyer says this concerning trend is not exempt to Fresno.

"I believe that there are cities in America today, many in California that have become more reactive than proactive because of a lot of reasons," said Chief Dyer. "A lack of resources but also perhaps a lack of community support within that community. We never want to have that here in Fresno."

The chief says another reason violent crime is be going up around the state is proposition 47 - the legislation that reduced many drug crimes to misdemeanors.

In addition, some police agencies may feel skepticism to confront suspects as frequently, since their tactics are being closely scrutinized, and sometimes recorded.

Officers in Fresno are still being encouraged to get out and make arrests, to reduce crime and keep the community safe. But they are also cautioned to be professional, and courteous, because unrest can be one incident or one arrest away.

A crackdown on gangs in Fresno begins Wednesday morning. The chief hopes this latest operation will drive down the numbers.

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