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Yakima Police Vehicle Expansion

Flickr, davidsonscott15

The City of Yakima proposed an “Assigned Police Vehicle Program” expansion of 74 vehicles to add to the current 60 assigned vehicles to police command staff and officers in specialty positions.

The proposal came in a Yakima City Council business meeting on May 14th from the city manager, Tony O’Rourke, where he mentioned in the memorandum that “Based on the 2012 Citizen Survey, only 26% of Yakima residents feel safe from being a victim of a violent crime, and only 50% feel safe in their neighborhoods after dark.”

The city has already increased its “Gang-Free Initiative,” lighting and surveillance, added officers to the “Violent Crime Task Force and School Resource Officer” program among other things and adding the vehicles will be another step towards a safer community.

There are eight advantages and benefits named in the council meeting of adding the 74 assigned vehicles that include:

1. Enhanced police presence in the community.
2. Crime deterrence
3. Improved police response times
4. Community relations
5. Supplement on-duty police force
6. Reduced vehicle unit cost
7. Enhanced police productivity
8. Greater police morale

 

The $4.7 million dollar cost of the new vehicles will mostly be offset by the police officers agreeing to not get cost-of-living pay increases for the next two years which saves the city about $4.4 million dollars.

Having the new vehicles for the officers to travel to and from work will also save an average of 30 minutes a day of the officers having to check in and out their vehicle and load and unload equipment each patrol shift, which will generate approximately $219,000 in police productivity.

To view the full details of the proposal and memorandum, click on the provided link below:   http://www.yakimawa.gov/council/archived-agenda-minutes/  and then click on the “Browse City Council Agenda Packets,” open the 2013 folder and finally the 05/21/2013 – Business Meeting folder.

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