In wake of Paris, Fresno P.D. rolls out big data to fight crime

In the wake of Paris attacks, Fresno Police roll out a big data system to fight crime in the city.


First, let’s take a look at the lay of the land from the cop’s perspective.


Fresno is about 112 square miles in size. The population is about 515,000.

Dyer has about 700 sworn officers. He’s supposed to have 760 by June 30, 2016. Even with a council-approved bonus program, he’s struggling to find enough recruits to offset retirements and departures, let alone build the ranks.

Dyer before the great recession had almost 850 cops. He thinks a city of Fresno’s size needs 1,000 officers if pro-active policing, the community outreach so beloved by activists and pundits, is to reach critical mass.

The department’s 2015 third quarter Demographic Data Analysis report prepared by Deputy Chief Robert Nevarez notes that Fresno cops from July through September made 17,977 traffic stops – about 200 per day, on average.

The report notes that Fresno is 46.9% Hispanic, 30% white, 7.7% black, 12.3% Asian and 3.1% other.

The report notes that 49.4% of the people in traffic stops were Hispanic, 25.5% white, 13.5% black, 6.5% Asian and 5.1% other.

The Southwest Policing District had 44.4% of the traffic stops, followed by 22.1% in the Northeast, 18.2% in the Northwest and 15.3% in the Southeast.

More than half of the stops were for hazardous moving violations.

The demographics for people listed on the Daily Crime Bulletin (a list of wanted felons or parolees) were 55.7% Hispanic, 26.6% black, 14.9% white, 1.6% Asian and 1.3% either other or unknown.

The Police Department’s 2015 third quarter Reportable Response Resistance Project report reviews data on officers’ use of force.

“Despite Fresno police officers’ routine use of verbal commands, and attempts to negotiate peaceful solutions when involved in adversarial situations,” the report states, “there are times when physical force is necessary to make an arrest, prevent an escape, overcome resistance, or defend against injury to officers or citizens.

“Officers use force as a last resort, with the vast majority of confrontations resolved with very little, if any, force applied. On rare occasions, deadly force must be used; however, the public is often unaware of the vast majority of potentially deadly confrontations that are peacefully resolved without resorting to deadly force.”

Reportable force, the report states, is when a person is injured by contact with an officer (or police dog); when an officer strikes a person (examples: fist or foot, or with an object such as a flashlight); when an officer uses (not merely displays) a weapon such as a gun or chemical agent.

There were 109,405 calls for service in in the 92 days of July through September, with 46 resulting in applied force by Fresno police officers.

Twenty-two of the 46 people involved in reportable force incidents were Hispanic, 10 were black, seven were white, four were other and three were Asian.

The police dealt with 11,703 reported crime suspects in the third quarter, of which there was race data on 11,616. Hispanics accounted for 53.7% of the suspects, whites 22.1%, blacks 18.7%, Asians 3.3% and other 2.2%.

These statistics are the bread-and-butter of council members as well as cops.

To drive home his point that the world moves in sudden and unexpected ways, Dyer on Nov. 5 reminded the council of the Fresno State student (Christian Pryor) who, a mere three days earlier, had been arrested by university police.

Pryor’s alleged crime: Making a terrorist threat.

His megaphone: Social media.

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