A few weeks ago, the Fresno Police Department put out its end-of-year data on crimes in the city over the last year, and many instances of crime went down from 2017 to 2018.
For example, homicides were down 43 percent, there were about a third fewer shootings, and violent crimes like rape and robbery were also down compared to 2017. So, if the Fresno Police Department has done such an effective job reducing crime, why was there such a big fight over Measure P?
Just a reminder, Measure P was a sales tax on the November 2018 ballot that would have funded parks, arts and trails here in Fresno, and it ultimately failed.
In an interview after the election, Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said he felt residents “didn’t buy the argument of the parks measure,” and that he hopes to bring forward a parks and public safety tax in the future. In light of the department’s year-end statistics, Brand says that despite the police department’s work, crime is still at an “unacceptable level.” Fresno Police Officer Association President Todd Frazier says while the data on crime may look positive, some crimes like rape are underreported. He also says that the department’s force does not include as many officers as the city needs.
Listen to the interview above to hear more.