From Dogpound To Brookhaven; Fresno Neighborhood Gets New Name
09/18/2007 (KFSN) -- People in an infamous part of town plan to reclaim their neighborhood from gangs by renaming it all together.
For years people have called this part of town the "Dogpound." It's a southwest neighborhood bordered by Jensen, Martin Luther King, Annadale and Ivy. Tuesday the Fresno city council voted to officially name it Brookhaven.
Cynthia Leffall remembers how the neighborhood looked 50 years ago when she moved here. Since then, violence, gangs and fear gripped her neighbors because the Dogpound gang ruled.
"I have seen a drive-by. I was in my window, and unbelievable ... The guy was shooting at another car. And I fainted. I was so much afraid yes I was," recalls Leffall.
On Tuesday residents went to the Fresno city council, fed up that their neighborhood was known as the Dogpound. Cynthia Sterling, Fresno City Council Member, says "These are terrorists. These are terrorists... What they had been doing for many, many years was terrorizing the neighborhood."
The effort got rolling after a series of high profile crimes, including a shooting in August where a suspected gang member shot two mothers in front of children. One woman died.
Jerry Dyer, Fresno Police Chief, says "I firmly believe in order for us to reclaim this neighborhood that we have to rename it. I'm thankful we are renaming it."
Welcome to Brookhaven. The city is making 7 signs to post at the entrances to this neighborhood like here at Calwa and Martin Luther King. They want everyone to know this area is no longer known as the Dogpound.
But those who want to see change say the neighborhood's new name is just a small step. "One year from now, I hope it will be like any other neighborhood on the west side," says Leffall.
Leffall hopes city officials won't forget them after they made a bold move to reclaim the neighborhood's name.
- Video: Mountain communities wake up to snow
- Nelson Mandela family: 'We have lost a great man'
- Reindeer escapes from Santa at Colorado mall
- Toys for Tots marathon kicks off at River Park
- Pearl Harbor ceremony marks attack anniversary
- One injured in Central Fresno drive-by shooting
- Animal shelter seeks donations to keep dogs warm
- Freezing temperatures take toll on small Valley farms
- Police increase patrols on Fulton Mall after shooting
- Valley utility workers gear up for freezing weather