Yakima plans to reduce car thefts, robberies and burglaries by 10%

Yakima plans to reduce car thefts, robberies and burglaries by 10%
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima has new plans to make the city safer and better for business. City Council set priorities from surveys you answered. Now, Yakima has specific goals for improvement. That includes reducing crime.

It's a sight that's supposed to bring peace of mind. Police watching your neighborhood.

"Some areas you see a lot of cop cars and then there are other areas where you don't see any," said Stacy Parker, who works in Yakima.

It's those areas that Stacy Parker worries about, especially working the night shift.

"I'm checking over my shoulder constantly," said Stacy. "Part of that is just smart in this day and age, but part of it is also because I've seen people that were obviously on something mentally disturbed."

Stacy's not the only person who feels that way.

According to last year's city survey, less than a quarter of the people who responded feel safe downtown after dark. In 2013, Yakima's goal is to boost that number to nearly 30 percent.

Yakima also wants to cut robberies, burglaries and auto thefts by 10 percent.

KIMA asked Yakima Police Chief, Dominic Rizzi, "How do you plan to reach this goal?"

"First off is a presence, a police presence," said Chief Rizzi. "It's why we are bringing back officers on bicycles."

Chief Rizzi says making the goals attainable was important in order to build confidence in the department.

"I mean 10 percent is a good start, but it would be certainly nice to build upon that," said Stacy.

Yakima already doubled the gang unit in hopes of cutting gang activity. Something people here say needed to happen a long time ago.

Other public safety goals include a graffiti removal program that really works, as well as upgrading and replacing street lights.