Fresno has seen a drop in crime so far this year, with crime numbers down in every category, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Wednesday.
"It has been a good year," he said. "2018 has seen a significant reduction in crime."
Homicides in Fresno are down 44 percent year to date. As of Wednesday, there have been 14 homicides this year compared to 25 at the same time last year.
Overall, violent crime is down 7 percent year to date, he said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Fresno Bee
He said the drop is due to "proactive policing" that targets gang members.
"I can tell you it's not chance. It's because of some good strategies that we have in place," Dyer said. "We have our officers who are deployed during the right times and in the right areas."
Officers target gang members, but "we want them to do so legally," he said.
"We want our officers out there, day in and day out, making traffic stops and detentions," Dyer said. "We are searching for individuals who are gang members, people that are driving around armed with firearms waiting for the next drive-by shooting that they can commit."
Police also gather intelligence and use it to prevent crimes, he said. For example, the annual Soul Brothers motorcycle run happened last weekend, which drew several thousand bikers to Fresno, he said.
Gang members in Fresno go to their events and every year there have been shootings, he said. But this year, thanks to intelligence and "good relations" with the Soul Brothers group, no violent crimes happened, he said.
Meanwhile, property crimes, including burglaries, are down citywide, he said. "I'm proud to say year to date that property crime in the city of Fresno is down 20 percent," Dyer said.
Vehicle burglaries have dropped 22 percent year to date.
Police have been telling business owners in the Tower District to advise customers who drive to the area but take Uber or Lyft to get home to not leave valuables in their cars because it makes the vehicles a target, he said.
Residential and commercial burglaries are down 29 percent year to date, he said. And auto theft, a crime that has plagued Fresno for years, is down 32 percent.
Citywide, shootings are down as well.
"We know that if we can reduce shootings in the city of Fresno, we can ultimately reduce homicides," Dyer said. "And I'm proud to say that shootings this year are down 34 percent."
In the past 28 days, there were 31 shootings. Last year, Fresno averaged 40 shootings every 28 days, Dyer said.
Gang shooting account for many shootings, he said. Year to date, the number of people shot is down 32 percent, he said.
In downtown Fresno, robberies are down 72 percent year to date, said Capt. Mark Salazar.