Valley law enforcement agencies expressed condolences Sunday to Louisiana law officers after six of those officers were shot, three of them fatally, in the second deadly attack on police in a little more than a week.
The shooting in Baton Rouge, La., came just 10 days after another gunman killed five officers in Dallas. Like the Texas shooter, the gunman in Baton Rouge was killed in the confrontation with law enforcement.
Law enforcement agencies across the central San Joaquin Valley said they were prepared to staff up if threats to officers or social unrest surfaced.
After the Dallas attack, the Fresno Police Department doubled up on officers in cars as a safety measure to make sure no officer on a swing or midnight shift was alone.
The department has faced criticism and street protests, including one on July 9 that shut down traffic on city streets, in the wake of recent police shootings.
When the department released the body camera footage July 13 of two of its officers shooting and killing Dylan Noble, an unarmed young man who appeared in the video to disregard officers’ orders during a traffic stop on June 25, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said they doubled up again.
“We started that up again after I released the video and will continue especially in light of what has occurred in Baton Rouge,” Dyer said Sunday. “Based on information we have at this time, we will continue with our current staffing levels but will be prepared to bring in additional resources should we need to.”
We started that up again after I released the [Dylan Noble] video and will continue especially in light of what has occurred in Baton Rouge.
Jerry Dyer, Fresno police chief
The Clovis Police Department posted a message of solidarity on its Twitter feed and Facebook page with a picture of a police badge with the mourning band wrapped around it.
“Once again, the Clovis Police Department sends our condolences to the Baton Rouge, Louisiana Police Department and the families of the officers that were killed and injured this morning,” the post stated.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office paired its message of support with pictures of Fresno sheriff and Baton Rouge police badges, both with mourning bands.
“The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office sends its love and support to the Baton Rouge Police Department and its community. Our prayers are with the loved ones of those officers who lost their lives. Sharing these types of sentiments has become all too common as of late. We must channel our energy for peace, not hate. #Community + #LawEnforcement = #BetterWorld,” the post read.
Sheriffs Jay Varney in Madera County and Mike Boudreaux in Tulare County said their agencies had no plans to staff up for unrest – but were prepared to do so if the need surfaces.
Boudreaux, in a Facebook message posted hours after the Baton Rouge shooting, asked for prayers for the families of those officers hurt and killed in Louisiana, and for all law enforcement officers.
“These are senseless acts of violence which are inexcusable and cannot be tolerated,” Boudreaux added. “Now, more than ever, we must remain vigilant in keeping our eyes open for any suspicious behavior within the communities of our country.”