Shots fired in Sunnyside lowest in 3 years

Shots fired in Sunnyside lowest in 3 years
SUNNYSIDE, Wash. – Yakima rang in the new year with two different shootings on January 1st. However, it was a different story in Sunnyside, where shots fired are at a 3-year low.

"It's like one of those towns, your friends joke about it being dangerous,” Sammy Cochran said. “If you see a cop car going by your like, 'Oh, someone must have been shot or something.'"

Despite any stigma, 2012 was one of Sunnyside's safest in years. Police tell Action News the number of shots fired dropped from 40 in 2010 to just 10 in 2012.

"There's been a growing awareness about violence and safety that this community definitely cares about,” Jose Razo said.

Police say shots fired has dropped primarily because of their increase in manpower. The city added nearly 10 officers in two years. Detectives say it equals more officers on the street to make arrests and more in the office to follow up.

Neighbors like Cal Grove are happy to hear the news, but says crime can happen anywhere.

"Anytime you hear shots, it's always bad news,” Cal said. “But, you're going to hear that in big towns, small towns, everywhere."

While shots are on the decline, people around town still have mixed opinions about crime in Sunnyside.

"I wouldn't consider myself afraid to live in Sunnyside, I do feel there's a need to bring the crime level down significantly,” Elizabeth Garcia said. “Sunnyside has the potential to be a great place to live.”

That potential is increasing, as the shots are decreasing.

"I just wish we could all be friends, all get along together,” Cal said. “You know, and let these gangs go someplace else."