College student conducts online survey about gangs in Yakima - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

College student conducts online survey about gangs in Yakima

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YAKIMA, WA - Gang violence has been an ongoing issue in Yakima for years. Last month, a 14-year-old lost his life in a gang-related drive-by shooting. That's why Lea Kronenberg, a student at Evergreen State College, is conducting an online survey on community perceptions of gangs in Yakima.

"The hope is that I'll be able to get a better understanding of how people are feeling," Kronenberg said, "and then share that with local policy makers so that better policies can be written."

Kronenberg has studied Yakima for the last year and the goal behind the 20-question survey is to make Yakima safer.

"My ultimate goal is to reduce crime and violence in Yakima and make it safer for everyone," she said, "and hopefully bridge the gap in communities."

Kronenberg is an intern at YPAL, a non-profit that helps kids in the community. She says that through her studies she's learned that the best way to stop gangs is with prevention programs.

"It has been found that the best way to address the gang problem is through a pyramid with suppression on top, intervention in the middle, and prevention at the bottom," she said.

Joe Willis, Executive Director at YPAL, agrees.

"It has been proven that suppression doesn't work, but intervention and prevention programs do," Willis said. "If we can come together and we can meet families where they are and come together as a family, then we can really do something for our community."

To take the survey in English, click here:

To take the survey in Spanish, click here: