New Pasco police officers sworn in Wednesday are just one part o - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Pasco police officers sworn in Wednesday are just one part of department expansion

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PASCO, Wash.-- The Pasco Police Department is growing and changing, thanks to a sales tax increase that made it all possible.

The addition of two new Pasco police officers is just the first step in the department's plan to focus it's energy on new development. The new officers sworn in Wednesday will allow the department to move other officers to a new street crimes unit that will focus on gang activity and other street crime issues.

The new officers will take patrol positions while two other officers will now go undercover for the street crimes unit. That unit will eventually include four officers and should start by the end of the year.

"It gets us up to almost full strength. It's a great thing for the city and the department to have a number of officers coming in that want to be here, want to work for our department, want to work for our city.. That's very important to us," says Chief Metzger, Pasco Police.

This is all possible because of a three-tenths of a cent sales tax increase that will generate about one million dollars a year to pay for renovations at the county jail, these new officers and eventually a new police facility.

The officers sworn in Wednesday have completed the nineteen week police academy and now have another fifteen weeks of field officer training.

The Pasco Police Department is looking to additionally hire two more officers.