Yakima used to have a Gang Free Initiative program to focus on mitigating gang problems.  Some City Council member thought it had value, others didn't and with council reorganization the project died.  But the gangs still exist and the effort to organize and continue the fight is gearing up again.

Earlier this year the  Council adopted the Comprehensive Community Safety Plan – Vision 2025.  The gang fight is part of the plan and is in part funded by the Governor's office.   The Governor’s Office included $150,000 of the general fund state appropriation for fiscal year 2019  solely for a grant to the city of Yakima to establish a gang prevention pilot program.

The pilot program has the goal of creating a sustainable, organized response to gang activity that emulates a  federal Juvenile Justice Gang reduction program currently operating in Denver.  The funds will be used to develop Yakima’s "Now is the Time" violence prevention program. ​

According to the City,  Now is the Time (NITT) seeks to leverage existing and yet to be identified resources and to increase the capacity of our local network of providers by assigning the City the role of convener and capacity builder. NITT is a pilot program that develops, connects and supports a network of local, regional and statewide partners that have proven records of reducing gang involvement.

Summer's coming. Gang activity heats up with the weather. The City Council looks to be getting back into the fight.  Details of all this will be available at Tuesday's City Council Meeting -- 6/5/18.


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