Homicide rates for Tri-Cities staying the same, Yakima declining
KENNEWICK, Wash.—2011 is quickly coming to a close, so how does this year stack up when it comes to the area's homicide rates? It depends on which county you're looking at. Benton and Franklin counties have stayed pretty consistent, but Yakima County has seen a pretty big decrease.
Benton County had four homicides in 2010 and four in 2011, two of which led to criminal charges. Franklin County has two in 2010 and two in 2011, both were criminal. Yakima County had 29 for 2010 and 22 for 2011, 18 of which were criminal.
So, why are we seeing declining or at least consistent rates?
"The attention of domestic violence I think that's really gotten people focused on standing up against their perpetrators," says Shawn Sant, Franklin County Prosecutor.
"The economic conditions of our county have remained pretty stable where a lot of other counties have suffered a lot of economic downturn," says John Hansens, Benton County Coroner.
"It appears that the law enforcement is having more of an impact on our gang related shootings," Jack Hawkins, Yakima County Coroner.
Now the question is, will the downward slope continue in 2012?
"I'd like to see the number go to zero. I think that's an accomplishment we can do," says John Hansens, Benton County Coroner.