You Seeing It? Yakima Police Say Crime Trending Down in Yakima
Do you feel like crime is down in Yakima?
With 23 officers short on the Yakima Police Department it's been a long year for many Officers working overtime trying to respond to and control crime.
DESPITE THE CHALLENGE OF BEING SHORT ON OFFICERS DECREASES IN CRIME ARE REAL
Chief Matthew Murray says despite increases on the state side Yakima saw decreases and continues to see decreases this year as well. For example he says the State average for aggravated assaults rose 15.4% but Yakima showed a 17.4% decrease for a difference of 32.8%. The Washington State average for robbery rose 10% from 2020 to 2021 - but Yakima showed a 29.4% decrease for a difference of 39.4%.
FORGERY, PROPERTY CRIME AND SHOPLIFTING CASES ARE DOWN IN YAKIMA
Forgery cases were also down 50% and there was also a downturn of 33.3% in fraud between 2020 and 2021. In 2022 the Yakima Police Department started a Property Crimes Unit which works with businesses in the city to help prevent theft. Since the unit was started police say shoplifting cases are down 34.5%. That's especially noteworthy because it's the holiday season which in turn is the shoplifting season.
TRAFFIC PATROLS CONTINUE WITH A BIG INCREASE IN TRAFFIC STOPS
Traffic fatalities and serious crashes have also been a big problem over the last two years but police say a " a renewed emphasis on traffic enforcement has resulted in a 177% increase in traffic stops."
GANG CRIME IS A STILL A HUGE ONGOING PROBLEM
Police continue to battle local gangs with the help of the federal government. Some gang members are facing federal charges. In fact Chief Murray says federal indictments have increased 70% in the past two years as the department has developed a close relationship "to combat gang and domestic violence." The latest gang related shooting happened Monday, December 4 in which a 19-year-old man was injured.
DESPITE WORKING A LOT OF OVERTIME TO FILL VACANCIES ONLY A HANDFUL OF MISCONDUCT COMPLAINTS
In 2022, Officers responded to 65,573 calls for service and only investigated fourteen misconduct complaints against our officers (less than 2 one-hundredths of 1%).
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