The Yakima Police department has a new gang unit operating in the new year.

Chief Dominic Rizzi says the department will now be able to collect more gang intelligence to help make more arrests.

Rizzi says for years the city operated only one unit and that meant about 40 percent of the time there was not a gang unit operating in the city.

“And that means about 40 percent of the time there were not gang teams on the street. At least now 7 days a week we have a gang team out on the street.”

The Chief says rather than running from gang crime to gang crime, he is hoping to develop more gang intelligence to make more arrests and combat their activities. He says it is also about sending a message to gang members that the police department is keeping pressure on their activities.