Dyer's eyes set on 2016, tightlipped about it

A new rumor is swirling around Fresno’s top cop. George Hostetter addresses the elephant in the room.




Jerry Dyer hasn’t officially thrown his hat in the mayoral campaign ring.

But he’s not shy about commenting in a general way on the nature of local municipal government.

He’s earned that authority. Dyer became a police cadet in 1979 and a Fresno police officer in 1980. He has been chief since Aug. 1, 2001.

Fourteen years in a seat so hot that his immediate predecessors were lucky to last half that long. Dyer knows City Hall.

“There are a lot of things that make a city thrive,” Dyer told me. “There are a lot of things that make neighborhoods attractive. There are a lot of things that make the (city) environment enticing for business.

“Law enforcement is one of them. And, in my opinion, that is vital. If people do not feel safe and secure in their neighborhoods, then it impacts their quality of life. Eventually, they have to decide whether they’ll live in that neighborhood, or relocate out of that neighborhood or to another city.”

The woes of unsafe neighborhoods snowball throughout a city, Dyer said.

“If you don’t have an industrial area that is safe for business, or a business complex where people feel protected and confident their vehicles won’t be broken into, then they’re not going to stay put,” Dyer said.

“I hear that frequently from businesses – either their clientele or their employees are having their cars broken into, or there’s a fear level and that leads to them having to make a decision. Do they relocate their business or do they close their business? When I hear that in a public forum, that hurts.”

Dyer said law enforcement’s role is to protect both people and businesses.

“We in law enforcement are vital,” Dyer said. “But we’re not the only player.

“Planning and development has to be a key player in how a city grows. What are some of the incentives to have businesses locate in your city? What are some of the things that can be provided in terms of infrastructure for that business to want to be there?

“People who pay taxes want to know that when they turn on the faucet they’ll get clean drinking water. That when they drive down the street, they’re not going to chip a tooth when their car hits a pothole. That when they get to a signal light it’s going to work so people have a safe way of passing through intersections. They want to know their kids are going to be safe going to and from a school or playing in a park. They want to have a park that is clean and attractive and safe.

“There are so many things that are important in making a city thrive. We in law enforcement are one of them.”

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