Tri-City Crime Trends - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-City Crime Trends

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TRI-CITIES, Wash. - There is no question that police around the Tri-Cities keep busy, from minor calls to violent crimes they see it all.

Thursday afternoon law enforcement leaders from Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, West Richland, Benton County, and Franklin County meet to discuss the crime issues that are affecting their communities.

According to police statistics violent crimes are up in the Tri-Cities and across the country.  There are over 200,000 people living in our community and law enforcement respond to thousands and thousands of calls. 

Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg said there are a number of reasons why violent crimes are up in the Tri-Cities.  He said, "Everything from domestic violence situations to criminal gang activity and a lot is centered around the drug use throughout the Tri-Cities."

Police said that meth labs are down significantly but report that consumption is still a major problem.

Benton County Sheriff Larry Taylor said, "The meth problem is not just here in the state but, the nation as a whole has reached epidemic levels."

West Richland Police Chief Layne Erdman said, "less manufacturing but considerable amount of usage."

Richland police recently searched two cars and found guns, drugs and of stolen property.  Two women were arrested and authorities said smaller crimes sometimes escalate into much more violent crimes.

Hohenberg said, "We're seeing more people resort to violence more quickly and our police officers are dealing with this more frequently."

Pasco Police Chief Denis Austin said, "The biggest problem we see right now is aggravated assaults.  I think we saw that across the Tri-Cities."

Erdman said, "Because we're seeing an increase in crimes the public needs to be aware of what going on in their community."

Police emphasized the fact that we live in a safe community but people still have to be careful and said for the amount of people that live in the Tri-Cities crime rates are relatively low.