New police satellite station to be west of Fraternity Row

A new Fresno Police Department satellite station is scheduled to open near El Dorado Park and is expected to bring more security to the area.

The El Dorado Park neighborhood is a concern among many students due to crime. The satellite station is expected to decrease crime and help students feel more secure, said Fresno City Manager Bruce Rudd. He said the satellite station, scheduled to open in 30 to 60 days, will bring a larger police presence to the area.

El Dorado Park is located west of campus, near Bulldog Stadium and Fraternity Row. Its boundaries are Bulldog Lane in the south, Barstow Avenue in the north, Fourth Street in the west and Sixth Street in the east.

“Anytime there’s an increase in physical police presence, it raises awareness and provides a sense of safety for the community,” Rudd said. He also said the city will implement its neighborhood revitalization program in the area.

The new station will give officers a place to write police reports and take breaks between patrols.

“It allows officers to have a home base, to refresh themselves,” said Fresno City Council President Paul Caprioglio, who represents the Fresno State and El Dorado Park areas.

“Fresno State is important, and I believe [a satellite station] will bring more security for Fresno State students.” Caprioglio said, “It absolutely will reduce crime.”

Although the new station is scheduled to open somewhere near El Dorado Park, the exact location has not yet been identified. Rudd said the station will be around 700 square feet. Caprioglio said it will cost around $50,000.

This is not the first time the El Dorado Park area has had a police satellite station.

A satellite station that acted as a base for motor units once operated out of Stone Soup, the nonprofit that runs social programs in a complex on Bulldog Lane. Rudd said it was shut down eight years ago due to business disagreements.

In addition to increased police presence, the campus police department plans to continue its patrols in the El Dorado Park area.

University Police Sgt. Ruben Madrigal said he was unaware that the satellite station was opening, but welcomed the increase in police presence.

Madrigal said the campus police department has a close working relationship with Fresno police.

“When you have more visibility and more officers out there, it’s just going to add to the overall security of the area.” Madrigal said, “Whether it’s us or Fresno PD, we’re always there for the students.”

Caprioglio said police patrols have already started to increase in the El Dorado Park area. He said police have recently made arrests related to reports of isolated apartments conducting illegal activity.

Rudd said the station will make the neighborhood safer, but he thinks it may take time.

“Whether we will see an immediate decrease in crime is not yet known,” he said.

The satellite station is not the only new station the Fresno Police Department is opening. In the city’s 2016-17 budget hearings, Council Members Oliver Baines and Esmeralda Soria persuaded Mayor Ashley Swearengin to open a new substation in the Tower District.