The Fresno Police Department launched a violent crime suppression operation on October 6 in response to an increase in murders and shootings. It was scheduled to end after the holidays, but in a Wednesday news release, Police Chief Andy Hall said, “we are continuing to see an unacceptable amount of brazen violent crime and tragic loss of life in our city.”
Hall said the operation will resume over the upcoming weekend.
“On Friday January 8th, approximately 40 officers making up 6 different proactive elements will be deployed to try and further stop the violence,” the release said.
On Monday, Jan. 11, incoming Police Chief Paco Balderrama will start his new role as Fresno’s top cop.
Suppression Operation Nets 1,500 Arrests
The initial crime suppression operation resulted in over 1,500 arrests including over 400 identified gang members, according to the department.
“Sadly, the majority of those arrested have been released.”–Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall
“Sadly, the majority of those arrested have been released,” Hall said in the statement. “In fact, a recent analysis of those arrested showed 68% had already been released from custody.”
Hall Blames Bail Orders, Early Releases
Hall said the operation was hampered by COVID-related bail restructuring and early releases from jails and state prisons, “which released thousands of prisoners and gang members back into our community.”
“We enlisted the help of our state and federal agencies as a part of this operation,” says Hall.
Searches Conducted, Guns Removed
During the operation from October through the New Year, Fresno police say nearly 800 parole and probation searches were conducted
Hall said, “We removed 252 illegal guns from the criminal element in our community.”
“It is time that we hold the criminal element accountable for their actions and stop early releases from our jails and prisons,” Hall said.