Yakima Citizen Survey Results Show Perceptions are Changing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Citizen Survey Results Show Perceptions are Changing

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- The results are in from this year's citizen survey for the city of Yakima.

This is the second time the city has conducted a citizen survey to determine which improvements people want to see.

The new results show perceptions have changed mostly for the better when it comes to cleanliness and the appearance of the city.

"Overall I think what it validated to us, the city council in it's selection of strategic priorities is on the mark," said Yakima City Manager, tony O'Rourke.

This is the second year the city mailed out the survey.  This year 3000 random households received one.

O'Rourke said the results show the city's efforts are making an impact.

"We're on the right track, now we need the time and the investment to create a bigger difference," O'Rourke said.

The numbers don't lie, this year people say the overall image of the city is up, street repairs are looking good and the biggest increase is in the overall cleanliness of the city.

Areas that need improvement are in safety.  More people said they were a victim of a crime, and fewer people said they felt safe in their neighborhoods than last year.

"Clearly we need to work on improving public perception of safety and security," O'Rourke said.

He also said crime is down 9% since December.  One resident said there are good and bad days when it comes to safety.

"Kind of yeah, but at the same time no. I'm always aware of who is around me.  It depends on where you go," said Yakima resident, Enrique Espinoza.

"I'm starting to look around and there's less bottles around, by downtown there is less trash," Espinoza said.

O'Rourke said the perception of safety is the main goal now for the city.

This year the city added more bike patrols, doubled the gang unit, and hired more people on the violence task force, all to be a visible presence in the community.

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