Yakima County Looks To Legislators for Help in Public Safety - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima County Looks To Legislators for Help in Public Safety

YAKIMA, Wash. - Yakima County lacks the funding for adequately tackling its criminal justice issues.

That was the focus of a forum on Tuesday night for local law enforcement officials to get help from legislators.

there were three prorities discussed tonight at the yakima convention center

They were sustainable funding, medical costs for prisoners and sentencing reform.

After voters shot down a tax increase to fund public safety in the last election, local law enforcement officials are now turning to the state for funding.

Representatives from those legislators were on hand to hear from presenters throughout the evening.

Yakima County Sheriff Ken Irwin, who was one of the presenters said the county needs the money soon.

"We're at just about our spending limits," he said. "So we're going to the state to say that we need some of that money that we pay over into Olympia to stay here in Yakima."

In 2004, voters approved a public safety tax increase, which gave some relief to local authorities.

Yakima County officials want to continue to meet with legislators to give them an idea of just how underfunded they are.

Irwin said the meeting was just a small step in the right direction.