Getting Rid of the Bulldog Gang Will Be a Challenge
11/13/2006 (KFSN) -- Chief Jerry Dyer says the new push is not a challenge to Bulldog Gang members, instead the challenge of getting rid of the Bulldogs is for members of his own department.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says to successfully crack down on the 4,000 or so Bulldog Gang members, police first have to figure out who they are and that's not always easy. It's not just based on clothing, it's not just based on tattoos and it's not just based on associates.
Chief Dyer says there is an official process that is used to identifying "who's who."
Validating' is a kind of legal checklist law enforcement must go through before a person can be declared to be a member of a gang. If a person is a validated gang member, any crime they're convicted of committing could come with extra punishment.
Dyer says if the new task force does its job, there will be a lot fewer Bulldogs in the future. He says, "It's not going to be a short-term effort, it's going to require a long term approach, a multi-year approach because there are so many of them."
The police department has created the 10 officer task force to work full time going after Bulldogs. Chief Dyer says the task force will measure its progress in a number of categories, including arrest numbers and referrals to the mayor's gang prevention program.
Lt. Greg Coleman heads the task force and he says the new push is different from 'gang sweeps' the department has conducted in the past. He says, "Before, we were just trying to suppress gang activity, now we're trying to eliminate the largest criminal street gang in the City of Fresno.
Dyer says task force members have been reassigned from other areas of the department and they'll get help from MAGEC and probation enforcement.
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