The overall rate for the most serious crimes in Yakima dropped more than 20% in 2013 when compared to the previous year. The rates for the majority of what are referred to by the FBI as “Part 1 crimes” declined significantly in 2013 from what they were in 2012 while those for two categories rose. But when considered as a whole, the rate for Part 1 crimes decreased last year by 20.2% from 2012 levels.
“Crime rates in Yakima have steadily dropped since they reached their highest levels in the late 1980s,” said Yakima Police Chief Dominic Rizzi. “Since then, crime rates have declined by more than 60%. That decrease mirrors national trends, but also reflects specific efforts we’ve made locally to fight crime, especially lately. For example, last year the Yakima Police Department reinstated its downtown Bike Patrol Unit, expanded its Gang Unit, and participated in a task force that addressed crime and code issues along the North 1st Street corridor,” said Rizzi. “Because of those and a number of other changes we’ve made in our approach, we’re seeing some tangible success.”
According to the latest information the City has supplied to the FBI for its upcoming annual “Crime in the United States” report, the rate of vehicle thefts in Yakima decreased year to year by 51.14% (691 in 2013 vs. 1267 in 2012), the larceny rate went down by 14.90% (2749 in 2013 vs. 3230 in 2012), aggravated assaults dropped by 18.89% (219 in 2013 vs. 270 in 2012), burglaries declined by 29.00% (1146 in 2013 vs. 1615 in 2012), and incidents of rape reduced by 37.25% (32 in 2013 vs. 51 in 2012). The homicide rate increased by 14.28% (8 in 2013 vs. 7 in 2012) and robberies rose by 15.29% (181 in 2013 vs. 157 in 2012).
“The community has told us loud and clear through citizen surveys that public safety is the number one priority in Yakima,” said City Manager Tony O’Rourke. “The City Council has responded to that mandate by dedicating significant resources to fighting crime and supporting changes in how our police department is attacking the problem. The latest statistics show that the tide is turning toward making Yakima a safer community,” said O’Rourke.
The FBI has been tracking and analyzing crime data through its Uniform Crime Reports (“UCR”) program since 1930. Today the UCR program processes information from more than 18,000 city, county, state, federal, tribal, and university and college law enforcement agencies.
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