Funding to combat gang violence is the top legislative priority for the City of Yakima in the upcoming legislative session that starts in January that from Yakima Mayor Cathy Coffey. She says she's confident the legislature will be generous with Yakima this year maybe more than in the past. Coffey says lawmakers and the governor are listening and want to help. Coffey says the fact that the governor held a listening session in Yakima earlier this year is a good sign. And the city has been in contact with the governor's senior policy advisor on the issue of gang prevention funding. "He's been asking if we get the money how we would use it. And so I think the opportunity has been greater than it has ever been before."
The city started off the year with a spike in gang violence. But the city police department conducted gang emphasis patrols that helped tap down the violence. City officials say the patrols are expensive and outside the normal police budget the reason why the city is hoping for state dollars in 2018 to help combat gang violence.