Yakima Police officials say a change of philosophy in the department is helping to drop local crime numbers.

Chief Dominic Rizzi says that in the first six months of the year auto theft is down 32 percent and burglaries are down 15 percent when compared to the same time last year.

Rizzi says officers are specifically looking for known criminals in Yakima. He says in the past the department didn't track certain repeat criminals but now officers are briefed and provided pictures and information about specific people on a daily basis that helps the officers target those criminals who are responsible for a majority of the crime in Yakima.

Rizzi says “when we track certain criminals we can target these people and help cut crime in Yakima.”

And while burglary and auto theft are down in the first six months, total assaults are up six percent in the first six months compared to the same six months last year.

Chief Rizzi will be on "The Mike Bastinelli Show" today to talk about the crime numbers. Listen today from 3 to 6 on AM 1280 and FM 99.3 Newstalk KIT.