Gang Commission Sees Improvement With Help From Grant - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Gang Commission Sees Improvement With Help From Grant

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Gang Commission was very pleased with the progress and so was the program's evaluator.

GRIP or the Gang Reduction and Intervention Project gave $105,000 to the cities of Yakima, Sunnyside and Toppenish over an 11-month period. The grant was awarded in June 2012 and was used to fund prevention programs to help stop youth in the area from getting involved in gang activity.

"Make sure that they don't go in the first place," Yakima Court Consultant Harold Delia. "Give them other alternatives, work on problems that they might be having that may attract them to gangs but maybe funnel them somewhere else."

The evaluator of the program gave high marks to Yakima County saying the program's greatest strength was initiating community involvement and commitment. Even though the program started just a short while ago, all three cities involved say they're seeing progress in their gang prevention efforts.

Sunnyside and Toppenish have decided to apply for the 21-month GRIP Grant while Yakima will continue funding the programs with money from the city.