The Yakima Police Department's Gang Unit will start patrolling longer hours, and they're constantly on call.
YAKIMA, WA - As the weather gets hotter, we tend to see crime rates go up. The Yakima Police Department's Gang Unit will start patrolling longer hours, and they're constantly on call.
It's a Friday night, and Yakima Police Officers are busy. Gang Unit Officer Jonathan Cordova checks on motels with high crime activity, and our first stop is the Red Apple Motel.
"We've had subjects deal drugs out of here," said Officer Cordova. "Hide from us here. Reason being is they don't have anything attached to them. So you rent a motel, you don't have to worry about the cops taking all your possessions, taking everything from the residence." Cordova said officers are called to the Red Apple multiple times a week.
Another place frequented weekly is the Knight's Inn, recently renamed the Yakima Valley Inn.
"We've had gang members here we've taken," said Officer Cordova. "We've actually done search warrants, taken guns out of these rooms, dope, drugs."
Officer CCordovasaid he often sees the same cars in these motel parking lots, and with a quick check, he finds the cars aren't from out of town.
"They're local hits," said Officer Cordova. "So they live here in Yakima or they live in Selah."
Police said they also get weekly calls about assaults, shots fired or unwanted guests at the Yakima Inn.
But there is one motel that stands apart from the rest, where the calls seem constant; the Sunshine Motel.
"Calls come in daily, almost daily from this place," said Officer Cordova.
Cordova tells us more police presence and preventive work could make a dent in motel crime, but a lot of it needs to come from the motel owners and landlords.