Fresno County law enforcement leaders reacted with dismay to the Thursday night murders of five Dallas police officers, with police Chief Jerry Dyer saying it was a “sad, sad, state we live in today,” and Sheriff Margaret Mims decrying the gunman killed by officers as “an evil person with evil actions.”
Dyer also expressed concern over 29 threats received through 911 calls in Fresno immediately after the Dallas snipers began firing at police officers.
“Never before,” the chief said of the threats. “We got calls from Fresno, out of town and out of state. What concerns me the most is that there may be copycats.”
Dyer said the department’s intelligence unit followed up on the threats and noted that in one case officers made contact with the caller, who said he “was just making a joke.”
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“Well, there are no jokes right now,” the chief added.
“When you start seeing officers gunned down, it causes you to wonder: ‘How did we get to this point?’ It stirs anger in me, it causes me to hurt. I feel for the families of the officers.”
Mims said there was “no excuse and no justifiable reason why this happened. Those police were out there protecting (protesters’) First Amendment rights.”
At the same time, she said law enforcement “can’t let a very few people intent on creating chaos ruin our relations with the rest of the public.”
Dyer said Fresno police will have a presence at any memorial for the fallen Dallas officers.
“We will defnintely send members of our honor guard, maybe members of our staff. This is a game-changer. This was unprecedented. We want to demonstrate our support and love” for the Dallas police force, he said.
Dyer said he is a friend of Dallas police Chief David Brown.
“He is a great chief and did a great job handling the situation. I feel for him. I can’t imagine being a police chief under those circumstances, losing five of your officers. He did a great job (responding to the shooting). My hat goes off to David Brown and all of those officers.”