Taking action against a dangerous, crime-ridden park

Taking action against a dangerous, crime-ridden park »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash.-- A crime-ridden park on South Third and Race Streets has been a hub for violence, drugs and homelessness. Neighbors and businesses are fed up with it.

"You see people using drugs, see people using the restroom right there on the premises," store owner Angelea Anderson said.

KIMA looked into what Yakima city codes and YPD were doing to fix the problems. They've already been working at it.

"It's a health issue, there's been some drug activity here," Code enforcement manager Joe Caruso said.

There was a stabbing here last week. This park is right across the street from Mount Hope Church. It was broken into and vandalized. It's also near Quality Mart. The store's owners have been calling city officials and YPD begging for change. They say food and even security cameras were stolen.

"We'd like to become a community that people would like to come to our store, buy the product, be able to go out and sit in the park and have their lunch," she said.

It's why Yakima is working on get the permanent residents out. Trash cans and barbeques were removed. Tables are next.

"City parks are made for families and kids," YPD Nuisance Ordinance officer Rich Fowler said. "Obviously you don't see many of those especially in this park here."

The two saw people openly drinking and illegally camping. Some of those people have been in trouble before for camping in the park. The beer was poured out and the couple in the RV was told to leave.

It's all being done to bring the park on South Third and Race back to a family-oriented area. The reverend from Mount Hope once brought meals to the homeless in the park. That stopped when the church was broken into and the basement was used as a bathroom.