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Neighbors combat crime in the Tower District

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

People in Fresno's Tower District believe their neighborhood's reputation is slipping, heading down a road of crime and blight.

Nearly two hundred people gathered Wednesday to change that destructive path. Their sentiments of anger and frustration came out at a community meeting.

John Fowler said, "This last year, we've had not only home burglaries but several car vandalism issues and break-ins."

This meeting was partially organized through an anti-crime Facebook page. More than 900 people post, read and talk about crime in the eclectic neighborhood. But despite these posts, police say crime is dropping.

In the past 6 months, robbery and non-felony theft is down by at least 10 percent. And in the past three months, vehicle burglary dropped by more than half. Vehicle theft is down 20 percent.

"We've reported those incidents and we still have received no response," John Fowler said. "So I'm not encouraged that reporting helps. But I'm pretty sure everyone is under-reporting."

That may explain the falling crime statistics. Police say they can't respond when they don't know what's going on.

Capt. Greg Garner explained, "One of the things we use to determine where we deploy our officers is the number of calls we receive about crime."

As far as crime prevention, Tower District residents are keeping an eye on transients and gang members. They say that's a big source of the problem.

"We don't feel that our neighborhood is more dangerous than others," Tower District resident Scott Miller said. "We feel that everyone should be doing this. Hopefully this will be the first step for a lot of neighborhoods."

Because the city's budget is stretched thin, police say they simply cannot respond to all calls but they want you to report crimes.

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Tags:
crimetracker, fresno tower district, fresno, fresno county, local, rick montanez
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