Officer Involved Shooting Forces Yakima Police to Reassign Pro-Act Unit

Officer Involved Shooting Forces Yakima Police to Reassign Pro-Act Unit »Play Video
YAKIMA - Earlier this month, Action News had the only cameras rolling during an officer involved shooting that critically injured known gang member, Lance Nanamkin. We have now learned the internal investigation has the department short staffed.

It started with a high speed chase, and ended with over 70 bullets flying. No officers were injured, but it did leave the department with some holes. Police Chief Greg Copeland told KIMA the sergeant and three officers involved are on administrative leave for roughly two to three months.

"It's a little more difficult to fill that gap,” Copeland said. “Three officers is a pretty good percentage of our normal shifts. What we've done in this case is take our Pro-Act team and reassign them to the patrol division."

So what does that mean for you? Action News learned you better make sure those cars are locked and alarms are set because both burglaries and car prowls could see a spike.

"There may be an increase in property crimes, allowing the people committing those crimes to continue doing the things they do, without having a unit actively seeking them out,” said Pro-Act Sgt. Kelly Willard.

And you can bet that'll make those criminals seek you out even more. The Pro-Act Unit focuses on stopping thefts and break-ins before they can even happen, but now, it looks like they'll have to respond to those calls after the fact.

"Patrol, because of the high call volume in the city, which are some of the largest call volumes of any agency in our area, doesn’t always have the ability to go out and actively seek out and find people committing crimes in progress,” Willard said.

And that means you better be extra vigilant.

"Don't just close your shades and lock your doors and pretend it's not happening,” Willard said.

Copeland told KIMA the patrol is the one area they absolutely have to maintain pretty much at any cost. He said the three officers and one sergeant should return to work in two to three months, at which time the Pro-Act unit should be able to resume their regular duties.