Annual Kennewick Police Report Finds Violent Crime on the Rise - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Annual Kennewick Police Report Finds Violent Crime on the Rise

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- A string of violent crimes over the last few days has made Tuesday night's police presentation to the city council even more timely.

The Kennewick city council will meet night to get an update from the police department about the crime trends in the community.

Overall, crime numbers are down in Kennewick. However, violent crime is on the rise.

"Number one priority for the city of Kennewick, especially for our city council is the safety and security of our citizens," said Kennewick Mayor Steve Young.

New numbers show that crime is down 8% in Kennewick overall, but violent crime is up 6%.

After a rash of violence over the weekend, including two homicides and a stabbing, violent crime is at the forefront of people's minds.

City leaders say Kennewick's rapid population growth is contributing to the problem.

"We're the fastest growing city in the state. The result of that is crime statistics change. You begin to see more hard crimes and less soft crimes. Either way, crime is crime and we just cant's accept that," Mayor Young said.

Police say crime prevention is their duty, but citizen involvement is just as important.

"There's 75,000 people living here and each one of those people has a role in helping prevent those crimes. So it's not just a police issue it's a community issue," said Mike Blatman, Kennewick Police Department.

The fear factor of violence, may be just that.

Blatman said if people stay away from typically violent groups like gangs or abusive relationships, the Tri-Cities is a safe place to call home.

"These types of things are probably not going to happen to you. Are there random things that happen? Yes, there are, but overall the crime rate continues to trend down and the Tri-Cities is a whole an extremely safe place to live," Blatman said.

Kennewick police are taking steps to make the streets safer for the expanding population.

The city council approved funding for three new officers last year and they will get an update on the hiring process Tuesday night at their meeting.