The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news.
Yakima's crime rate dropped again in 2014 - marking the 2nd year in a row that criminal activity has dropped in the City. This is great news and demonstrates the progress Yakima is making on several fronts. Since 2012, serious crime in Yakima has dropped by 21.8 percent. Within this category:
|Yakima Crime Trends|
|Number of Offenses|
|Motor Vehical Theft||1139||602||726||-36.3%|
Comparative 2014 crime stats from other Washington cities are not available yet, but Yakima's 2013 crime rates are already lower than cities like Sequim, Port Orchard, Port Angeles, Gig Harbor, Mount Vernon, Moses Lake, Shelton, Spokane and Everett. The 2013 stats put Yakima at about 27th on the list in terms of crime rates among Washington cities. We think that the 2014 stats will drop us further down the list.
The City's increased gang emphasis patrols, investment in police cars for officers, and community prevention activities are credited with improving public safety. Despite the progress there is no let up in terms of local law enforcement efforts. Yakima along with the County Sheriff's office and other city police departments are doing more than ever before to improve public safety.
Tackling the perception of crime in our community is a significant issue. in Yakima. Residents in our community have been living with crime for a long time so it is hard to change local attitudes. Yakima does have a higher than average crime rate. At the same time though let's give ourselves a little more credit. Serious crime rates in Yakima have dropped by over 66% since the mid 1980s.
Let's give our local law enforcement agencies a big hand for making our communities safer. Yakima has done an excellent job over the last few years to impact crime. The job to reduce crime is certainly not over, but let's take stock of where we are relative to other communities and adopt a better local attitude. We need to quit bashing ourselves about our historic crime problem and embrace fresher information about the bottom line progress we are making to improve public safety. Going forward - the reality of our crime statistics needs to overcome our perceptions about local crime.