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.


One evening some five years ago, I watched the Chief walk down Fulton Mall. It was the mall’s northern stretch, between Fresno and Tuolumne streets.


I was on the mall, waiting for a city news conference to start in what would become Craig Scharton’s Peeves restaurant.

I don’t know why Dyer was also on the mall. He didn’t head to the news conference. But there he was, in uniform, walking by himself toward Tuloumne. Needless to say, he made for a conspicuous sight.

DyerkidThere was a fair amount of foot traffic on the mall. It wasn’t long until Dyer attracted the attention of a half-dozen young men.

I won’t say they were gang-bangers. I don’t know what these men did with their time. But they sure looked like a rough bunch.

“Hey, Dyer! Hey, Dyer!” they shouted as the approached the Chief.

These guys wanted to banter (in their preferred argot) with Fresno’s chief of police. Dyer stopped and gave them what they wanted. Nothing bad happened. But a tension just beneath the chatter (loud from the guys, soft from Dyer) was unmistakable.

It was a fascinating scene for a reporter to quietly watch. Dyer wasn’t in the least bit nervous. He had probably chewed the fat in a similar way with these guy’s fathers while on patrol 30 years ago. Maybe even these guys’ grandfathers.

Jerry Dyer doesn’t rattle as chief. What would he be like as mayoral candidate?

Our chat ended with two questions.

Chief, what’s your take on Fresno’s future?

“I get excited about what this city could be and what it could look like,” Dyer said. “I drive our city at night. On Saturday night, I drove around the Lowell Neighborhood, the Tower District and downtown with my wife. It was 9 at night. We were in our personal car.

“I told my wife, ‘Look at how far we’ve come. Look at the potential. And, in some cases, look at how far we have digressed.’”

Chief, who are the people of Fresno?

“The people of Fresno are people who care about our community. They care about their neighborhoods, but sometimes feel neglected and unappreciated. As a result, they are sometimes very vocal and critical about their government. In some cases, it’s fair criticism. In some cases, it’s unfair. But I believe we have great people who live in these neighborhoods. They are doing their very best to raise a family and contribute to our city.

“Now, we always have detractors. We have people in some of these neighborhoods that impact the quality of life for these residents. I will go into a neighborhood and I talk to somebody who has lived there 30 or 40 years. And they will tell me of the changes that have occurred over the years, some for the better, some for the worse.

“But they stay there. These are the people we should be thinking about when we make decisions, whether it’s about policy or anything else in this city.

“I love Fresno. I love the people of Fresno. We are a very diverse community. We are a very caring community. You see that time and time again. When tragedy hits in our community, people come together. They rally like a family.

“So, I love Fresno.”

Softball questions? Sure.

But only a mayoral candidate would bother to swing.

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