Fresno leaders aim to provide extra security for street vendors

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Council members Miguel Arias and Luis Chavez are spearheading a pilot program to help improve the safety of mobile food vendors across the city.

"Attacks on our mobile food vendors are not going to be tolerated," Chavez said. "We are actually putting our money where our mouth is."

The City of Fresno is investing $20,000 to install security cameras on 20 mobile food carts that will also include a year of cloud storage.

The announcement comes following a string of attacks, including the murder of a 45-year-old vendor last March in southeast Fresno.

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The suspect was quickly arrested after a short clip of the incident went viral.

"We want the public to know if you plan on assaulting, stealing from a mobile food vendor, expect to be caught on camera, expect to be arrested and held accountable, Arias said.

Vendors say the cameras will provide them with confidence and that extra layer of protection while working.

"People are coming up to us and we don't know their intentions," says Miguel Ruiz. "We've been vandalized regularly, so these cameras help with preventing the violence and preventing the crime we experience on a day-to-day basis."

The goal, according to officials, is to eventually grow the program to include up to 200 street vendors.

"I consider this a first in the nation to where a city government actually supports our mobile food vendors, and I think that's historic for our city," Chavez said.
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