Yakima, Washington often in the past has crime rates below the national averages, with around 319 criminal acts committed for every 100,000 residents. Unfortunately, in the last two years, crime rates have risen over 11%. According to Yakima police chief Dominic Rizzi Jr, the number of officers retiring was significant. At this point about 8 positions for officers remain to be filled when the next group graduates from the police academy. When the Yakima Police Department saw the highest increases in crime, it was in part because of officers going from call to call, instead of being able to patrol neighborhoods which is a deterrent to theft, burglary and property crimes. Yakima Washington has seen significant increases in gang activity and now has the most gangs per capita in the state. in January the Yakima Police Gang Division will go on duty 7 days a week. Over a year ago, a new joint operation between Yakima Police along with the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the DEA to work together in an effort to prosecute the high-ranking members of various gangs under the RICO statute, developed in the 1920’s as a way to dismantle the powerful organized crime of that time. Areas around Fruitvale, Nob Hill, City Center and First Street have the highest violent crime rates, while property crime, theft, and burglary were much higher than national averages. Other areas of the city had less crime overall the following are rates based on crimes per 100,000 people; national property crime averaged 2,487 incidents, in Yakima, the rate was 5,428 incidents. national theft crime averaged 1,775.4 incidents, in Yakima, the rate was 3,315.6 national burglary crime averaged 491.4 incidents, in Yakima, the rate was 1,393.4 In 2012, the Yakima Police Department answered over 51,000 calls for assistance from residents. Yakima has an active crime stoppers hotline, 800-248-9980 and online at; https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=700&DSID=700 The main police department address is 200 South 3rd Street, Yakima Washington 98901 and direct telephone number is 509-575-6200 The Yakima PD also has helped to organize the Block Watch program. This program has seen crime rates reduced by rates from 50% to over 70% when the program is active. As of 2012 over 100 block watch chapters across the city. It is estimated that about 30% of the cities residents own a firearm. Using a gun for home protection is usually effective only when those handling the gun are formally trained in the use of a firearm. It would also be a good idea to spend time at a shooting range to become as proficient as possible too. A burglar or thief wants to take as little risk as possible. Usually, they will wait until it appears a residence is not occupied to try and get in to steal. A thief that is a drug addict may not be as careful as a career thief but still, does not want to be caught by police officers or residents who are armed. This is not always a certain way to prevent theft. Confronting a burglar or thief who may also be armed can be very dangerous for family members.
To make a home safe, police make a few suggestions;
1. making sure that outdoor lights work- regularly check bulbs and related items like motion control sensors.
2. don’t allow plants and shrubs to grow in places where someone could hide near a home.
3. make sure that deadbolt locks on doors that have windows use a key on both sides, and that the key is not left in the lock.
4. know who neighbors are on the street, and have a phone available when someone who seems to not be from the area is present in an unusual way.
5. Do not confront anyone who appears to be doing any criminal activity. contact the local police force immediately.
6. When going on vacation or extended times away from home, have mail and delivered newspapers held.
7. use lights that are on a timer not only for the exterior but also for the interior of a house.
8. know your neighbors- they and you will know when someone who is not from the neighborhood better than a police officer may know.
9. be aware of any suspicious activity in your neighborhood such as damage to property.
Due to advances in technology, someone is able to now get a camera system and mount the cameras inside or outside a residence and have the ability to be contacted when any motion control sensors are activated and as well see what the camera sees via a high-speed internet connection. In some cases, recording of this information is also available to hard drive on location or to virtual hard drives or cloud storage systems. The time it may take to contact local authorities especially when someone is not around can make a difference in the time it takes for police to respond to a home that has a burglar or thief present. It can be better to contact a local company that provides security services. This can offer a higher level of protection for a home or business. Companies that provide this kind of service in Yakima are listed here; 1. Mansfield Alarm Co 509-248-5687 2. Guardian Security 509-248-3300 3. Alarm Ace 509-966-5228 4. Inland Alarm 509-457-6065
Many alarm companies offer a range of services and are also connected directly to police departments to allow the most effective contact for authorities.