New Yakima County Prosecutor Has Big Plans for 2009 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Yakima County Prosecutor Has Big Plans for 2009

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YAKIMA, Wash-- It's a New Year and a new Yakima County prosecutor. New prosecutor James Hagarty plans to, first off take care of the case back-log in the Yakima court system.

The signs at the Yakima County Courthouse may still say Ron Zirkle, but Hagarty plans to shake things up. His previous experience in Kittitas county will help him bring everyone in his office onto the same page. 

One goal of Hagarty's is to lead by example, he wants everyone to be fully prepared for their trials so nothing slips through the cracks. He also wants to be aggressive in keeping the courtroom full. 

Hagarty said there will be challenges, but he plans to confront our gang problem head on with strong consequences.

"If you're gong to engage in criminal activity and you are doing it as the basis of a gang membership or participation in a gang we are going to seek a greater sentence a more powerful punishment," said Hagarty.

Hagarty said he plans to work with local law enforcement to prevent gang membership. His third goal is to unite all of the branches of his office. Right now it's spread into several different buildings. Hagarty hopes to bring everyone together for more efficiency.