Police, prosecutors and other law enforcement authorities alone cannot significantly reduce crime over the long term. Crime cannot be "punished" away for anything but short periods of time. To lower crime rates over the long-term, public policy, community support and local efforts are essential. In one northwest Fresno neighborhood, the community is trying their best to reverse a troubling trend.
According to a recent Fresno Bee story, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer has stated that violent crime in the northwest area of the city has gone up by nearly 40 percent this year when compared to last. The police have increased their patrols in the area but a group of concerned citizens, the H.O.P.E. Coalition, is doing what they can to build stronger community bonds by hosting events at local parks. Through efforts to bring community members together, the coalition wants to send the message that certain areas of the neighborhood associated with criminal activity will not be forgotten or ceded to the criminals. They hosted their kickoff event on Saturday at Quigley Park. While the building of community bonds and challenging crime with smiles and neighborhood gatherings may take time, the end results and possible reduction in crime may be long-term rather than fleeting.