Yakima City Budget Increases Spending to Make People Safer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima City Budget Increases Spending to Make People Safer

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YAKIMA, WA. -- Yakima's City Council is close to approving next year's budget and it includes plans to make a drastic increase in spending on public safety.

The extra money in the budget will provide a much larger police presence in Yakima.

The city council is planning to spend an extra $2.5 million on public safety after residents cited it as a major concern in the latest citizen survey.

The money will quadruple the amount of patrol vehicles on the streets of Yakima putting a total of 74 patrol cars in the community. Vehicles will also be assigned to off-duty officers to take home. The ultimate goal is to help people feel safer in Yakima.

"If you see a police car that's logo-ed up, that's got lights and sirens, you think it's on duty," Yakima Mayor Micah Cawley said. "It may deter some crime. Also just having that presence of safety out there that's so important. That we feel safe when we're out in Yakima."

The budget also includes $130,000 for an automated license plate reading system in 8 police cruisers. The scanner would read license plates automatically to detect stolen vehicles. 

Overall the budget will increase by $3.2 million but the City Council does not expect any new taxes.