Yakima Police Chief calls for federal funding for gang initiative - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Police Chief calls for federal funding for gang initiative

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Yakima, WASH--Yakima Police Chief Sam Granato points to this weekend's brazen murder as proof the city needs federal support to get a handle on gangs. 

Yakima has tried twice already to get FBI resources from the Safe Streets Act.  Granato says the requests were turned down because of political in fighting on the national level.

So Yakima is trying again for that federally backed gang task force.  It would bring equipment, vehicles, and wire-tapping capability to the department. Both Spokane and the Tri-Cities already have one.

Granato says Sunday's broad-daylight, execution-style shooting on Pleasant Avenue shows a new type of gang violence coming to Yakima.  "The type of attack is very reminiscent in my experience of a prison gang hit. Up close and personal. They don't care who's watching."

According to the Chief, many of the gang members they are seeing now have been to prison.  And instead of getting rehabilitated, they come out more dangerous than before.

Chief Granato says police emphasis patrols are already planned for the summer.He will be at tonight's city council meeting with more on getting federal help to battle gangs.