Hermiston Police Department Working on New Street Crimes Unit - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hermiston Police Department Working on New Street Crimes Unit

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Similar to the Criminal Apprehension Team in the Tri-Cities, Hermiston is just a few months away from having their own Street Crimes Unit. Similar to the Criminal Apprehension Team in the Tri-Cities, Hermiston is just a few months away from having their own Street Crimes Unit.

HERMISTON, OR - NBC Right Now is checking in with the Hermiston Police Department as officers are making moves to focus resources on trending crimes.

They're taking a page out of the books in the Tri-Cities. Similar to the Criminal Apprehension Team, Hermiston is just a few months away from having their own Street Crimes Unit.

"The adage of working smarter, not harder, comes to play with something like this," said Chief Jason Edmiston.

He described it as 'turning up the heat.'

"We're happy with person crimes, continuing to see a decline, but I'm not comfortable with our property crimes. So dedicating our limited resources to a Street Crimes Team, to me, makes total sense," Edmiston said.

The two-person team will focus on whatever crimes are trending. Things like last year's jump in home burglaries or this year's auto thefts which are up about 15%.

"They have the same problems that we have here. They're not that far away. Their issues are our issues. In fact, many times, the people we're dealing with are from there and I'm sure they deal with some of the people from here so we're so close, only 20 minutes away. Really, I think they'll benefit from this," said Sgt. Ken Lattin with the Kennewick Police Department.

"I see this really as an extension of the patrol unit. So if we have probable cause to arrest somebody and we're struggling to find that person for whatever the crime may be, I see this two person team being free from the normal call load to be aggressive and go find that person," Edmiston said.

He's worked closely with Kennewick Police, who started their CAT team 10 years ago, to get their new unit off the ground.

"We've all learned some things along the way. So if we can share them with our law enforcement teams to the south, we're happy to," Lattin said.

Edmiston hopes to have Hermiston's Street Crimes Unit up and running by the beginning of 2014.
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