Yakima Police are targeting homes notorious for crime - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Police are targeting homes notorious for crime

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YAKIMA, Wash.- Yakima City Council passed a nuisance ordinance three months ago and now officers are investigating a handful of homes notorious for gang-related activity.

"That's certainly what's on top of the heap right now then expect to see that filter on down but right now that's got most of our attention," said Lt. Mike Merryman from Yakima Police Dept.  

The nuisance ordinance allows police officers and code employees to examine a property, track complaints and keep an eye on the property. If gangs, drugs or other crimes are being committed there, the property owners could be evicted or fined.

"It won't be the only tool we use but it's another application when it fits to make the community safe," said Lt. Merryman.

Sunnyside Police officers plan to do the same. Their city council passed a similar ordinance this week. Yakima officers say these ordinances together should have a long-term effect on the valley.

"The more tools we have available to us the more effective we are to make the community safe, the community wants that, the citizens expect that," said Lt. Merryman.

The process of evicting property owners or tenants could take a while but officers say they hope to have the notorious homes under control soon.