Toppenish City Leaders Concerned About Bad Reputation - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Toppenish City Leaders Concerned About Bad Reputation

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Toppenish Public Safety Division will hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon to address concerns that the city's reputation is being harmed by a "handful" of criminals.

Following the recent string of drive-by shootings in East Toppenish, the police department increased its manpower. Officers spent more time on patrol and they even brought in help from the Zillah Police Department.

They made a total of 54 contacts, four felony arrests, six misdemeanor arrests, and executed a search warrant.

Among those arrested was a Norteno gang member. He was brought in on charges unrelated to the drive-bys, but evidence is being processed that could tie him to the scene of the shootings.

Public Safety Director Thomas Kehm asserts that, "Toppenish is made up of predominantly hard working, honest, and law-abiding citizens while there are a handful of others who commit crimes and contribute to a negative perception of a community that has worked diligently to restore and maintain a diverse and unique place to live".

The press conference is on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Toppenish City Council Chambers.

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