The conversations surrounding the prospect of establishing a  Regional Crime Resource Center in the Yakima Valley continue at tonight's (3/22/22) Yakima City Council study session.

The Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG) has notified its membership of an interest in establishing a regional crime center for Yakima County.

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Lots Of Questions About The Proposal

While most all elected leaders up and down the valley can agree on local concerns for the safety of residents and fear of serious crime.  How best to reassure the public, fight crime, and pay for the process is open to debate.  And debate they will.

The Yakima City Council and City Mager have a number of questions they need answered as the proposal is formulated:

Yakima City Concerns

1. What costs in the proposal are directly related to capital and/or equipment?

2. What costs are directly related to operations (e.g. staff salaries and benefits, training, mileage, security, space, etc)?

3. What specifically will the analysts be doing?

4. Who would the crime analyst supervisor report to?

5. Can you explain budget breakouts for all jurisdictions based on the COG formula? t.

6. What is the time frame proposed for this initiative?

7. Can YPD send one of its paid analysts to the center as a share of staffing costs?

8. If we pay our percentage costs of all tech, equipment & training, can we use the service of the center on a “fee for service” basis?

The Regional Crime Resource Center Premise

YVCOG maintains communications, testing, tracking, record keeping, coordination, equipment usage, and more could all be made more efficient with some centralized computers, advanced software, and equipment.

YVCOG officials like program coordinator Vicki Baker say the objective is to work together, across jurisdictional boundaries in support of each other, with shared information and resources. Initial start-up costs could be significant but Baker says federal dollars given to the County in the form of ARPA dollars could be used for such a project.ARPA is the American Rescue Plan Act which provides money from the federal government for Coronavirus relief.

Yakima County is set to receive $48 million and some of it could be used for regional crime-fighting. Yakima County Commissioner LaDon Linde was on the radio today and shared his initial thoughts about the basic idea of a Regional Crime Resource Center.

Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic has said he's in favor of the proposal as a way to get more thorough, and timely investigations leading to more, solid, prosecutorial evidence to be used to better protect the residents of Yakima County.

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