Emergency communication will see a major upgrade after the Yakima City Council recently authorized spending $500,000 on new police radio equipment. Communications Manager Wayne Wantland says the money comes from a city utility tax increase that will eventually fund the hiring of 12 new police officers. But not all the officers have been hired, so the tax money this year is being used to fund new equipment.

The money will also fund new in-car computers and hand-held radios for Yakima officers. The upgrades will help improve safety for the officers who sometimes can't communicate with dispatch or other officers because of radio problems. The tax money is also being used to hire new officers.