Yakima Police optimistic the anti-gang bill will help
Yakima - Leaders with the Yakima Police Department are optimistic that the anti-gang bill will help them fight the gang problem in Yakima.
House Bill 2712, co-sponsored by Charles Ross R-Naches, passed through the state senate with an overwhelmingly 46-to-three majority, but some democrats succeeded in removing civil injunctions from the bill.
That will prevent police from setting up areas where gang members are not allowed to gather.
Those who opposed the injunctions expressed concern with possible racial profiling.
The bill did not receive all the funding it had requested to set up five pilot programs in cities throughout the state to fight gang crime.
The selected cities will split two and half million dollars, rather than the 13-million that was originally proposed.
"It's a starting point," says Capt. Jeff Schneider of the Yakima Police Department, "We're a little concerned that funding may not be there, but there seems to be sufficient funds to at least get things started."
"With the legislature, you start at zero and come up from there," says Schneider, "And this will probably come up again in future years."
Yakima is one of the cities under consideration for that initial funding to fight gangs.