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Fresno’s Tower District, El Dorado Park neighborhoods to see return of police offices

Olive Avenue is closed to traffic prior to the start of the annual Mardi Gras Parade in the Tower District of Fresno in this February 2017 file photo. The Fresno Police Department plans to open a Tower District report-writing office to boost the presence of officers in the neighborhood.
Olive Avenue is closed to traffic prior to the start of the annual Mardi Gras Parade in the Tower District of Fresno in this February 2017 file photo. The Fresno Police Department plans to open a Tower District report-writing office to boost the presence of officers in the neighborhood. ckohlruss@fresnobee.com

After several years without a permanent police presence, Fresno’s iconic Tower District will soon see a return of officers in a scaled back form.

The Fresno Police Department is bringing a pair of lease agreements to the Fresno City Council for approval on Thursday afternoon, including one for renting space for a report-writing office on Wishon Avenue in the Tower District. The second is for a small office on Shaw Avenue near Sixth Street.

The police department at one time based its Central District in a station at Broadway and Elizabeth avenues in the Tower District. But budget constraints in 2011 forced the department to downsize from five district stations to four, resulting in the closure of the Tower station. Over the intervening years, Tower District representatives have lamented the loss of a permanent presence of officers in the district.

In the meantime, people in the El Dorado Park neighborhood west of Fresno State have expressed concern over the relocation of the Northeast Police District station from Fourth Street and Bulldog Lane to a new location several miles away near Clovis West High School.

Ultimately, the increased presence and availability of officers in these areas will be a catalyst toward FPD’s community policing efforts.

Fresno police Lt. Rob Beckwith, in a staff report to the Fresno City Council

The 1,338-square-foot space on Wishon Avenue less than two blocks north of Olive Avenue, as well as the space in the Starpoint Towers building on Shaw Avenue west of Sixth Street, will increase the presence of officers in those neighborhoods and “keep offices in the field, reducing response times to high priority calls,” according to a staff report to the City Council. “Ultimately, the increased presence and availability of officers in these areas will be a catalyst toward FPD’s community policing efforts.”

“Both locations are conveniently located to afford officers locations to write reports without having to return to their district stations or sit in their vehicles,” the report states.

Both leases are for five years. In the Tower District, the monthly rent will start at $1,512 per month plus utilities for the first two years, rising to $1,577 per month in the third year, $1,604 in the fourth year, and $1,652 for the fifth year.

For the much smaller, 391-square-foot space on Shaw Avenue, the rent will start at $391 per month.

If you go

The Fresno City Council meets at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the second floor council chamber at Fresno City Hall, 2600 Fresno St. The meeting is open to the public.

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