PASCO, Wash. - The Pasco Police Department is putting your tax dollars to good use. Franklin County voters approved a three tenths of a cent sales tax for criminal justice in 2011.
65% of that sales tax money goes to the city. They've used some of that funding to start a Street Crimes Unit because that's what people living in Pasco said they wanted.
After about a year of planning and organizing that unit hit the ground running a little over a week ago. The four person team has since made a total of 16 arrests, 11 of which had gang ties. The street crimes unit also has already shut down an alleged drug and prostitution house.
"The more you can be out there or be that omnipresent, if you will, type of a group that's out there that you know... who knows if they're watching you, when you're out committing crimes in our community. I think that has an impact," said Pasco Police Captain Jim Raymond.
The street crimes unit is made up of veteran officers. The sergeant has more than 30 years of experience. The team works full time and they focus solely on the city's street crimes, paying special attention to gang activity.