Putting safety at risk: New radios, same problems

Putting safety at risk: New radios, same problems
YAKIMA, Wash. -- KIMA is continuing to look at the issue with police radios not working properly in some parts of Yakima. Action News was told new radios would solve the problem, but after half-a-million dollars was spent, we learned they are still having the same issues. It will take more of your tax-dollars to fix this safety concern.

Communication is essential in an emergency, but KIMA learned Yakima has multiple dead spots around the city where police radios don't get reception. This means officers could be calling to report a problem but can't get the message out.

"It does make me mad because I can't get the help that I need if I needed it because I take care of my dad and I also have grandkids at my house," said taxpayer Doran Dimitrov.

Yakima has been working to solve the issue. Earlier this year, city leaders approved spending half-a-million of your tax dollars on new radios. KIMA was assured this would solve the problem, but months later, the radios are in and the problem still exists.

"Why would you spend a lot of money on equipment that's not going to be used effectively to benefit everybody here in Yakima," asked Dimitrov.

Officer Jake Landcaster with YPD explained the radio problems come and go, but some weeks it’s a daily issue.

"Sometimes it's frustrating… but we just work around it," said Landcaster.

Officers work around it by driving around Yakima until they find better reception. YPD needs more coverage. This means more towers. They tell KIMA that will solve the problem once and for all, but towers aren't free.

Unless Yakima gets a grant to pay for the towers, it appears YPD will have to spend more of your money to ensure they hear your call for help.

YPD is also working on a plan to install more towers. As we did before, we will continue to follow-up until this issue is resolved.