Violent Crimes Task Force using your tips to nab the "worst of the worst" in Yakima

November 09, 2011

YAKIMA -- The Crimestoppers program already put nearly 80 felons behind bars this year alone. It's such a success; the Violent Crime Task Force is now working directly with them to get those dangerous offenders out of neighborhoods. It's been less than a month since the partnership began, but KIMA learned it's already making an impact.

The Violent Crimes Task Force has its hands full here in Yakima, with dozens of felons on the radar. They have a new tool to help -- or hundreds of them -- tips from Crimestoppers. The task force is teaming up with the organization.

One of the ways the two groups are now working together is through the creation of the Crimestoppers bulletin. The Violent Crimes Task Force now has a big say in who goes in it. It will also work with Crimestoppers to release a flyer about particularly dangerous criminals immediately.

"We can reach a lot more people a lot easier by using Crimestoppers and working with them on rewards that come in for the information, and we wouldn't have to be helping fund for that information,” said Sgt. Briscoe.

That's crucial, especially when manpower and money are stretched for every agency in the area.

"We've got six or seven people working for me on this unit, and that just leaves so many people to find the targets we're looking for now,” Briscoe said. “With Crimestoppers, we have the whole community helping us, help them."

The new partnership has already paid off.

"Just last week, we apprehended an individual with nine felony warrants ranging from auto theft to eluding,” Briscoe said. “We probably wouldn't have found him if it wasn't for Crimestoppers."

There are still many more to find. Police think it's something that's now gotten a little easier.

Briscoe also gets all tips that come in sent to him right away directly. So far this year, Crimestoppers paid $6,000 in rewards.

By Hayley Guenthner-KIMA News

Yakima Neighbors Thrilled with IKE Crimestoppers

March 17, 2011

YAKIMA -- From drugs to fights, the folks around the Eisenhower High school told Action News they’ve dealt with it all. That was until a new program was introduced. Crimestoppers has been up and running for three months, and since then, neighbors said the area has dramatically improved.

"We had problems,” said neighbor Michael Weston. “People would come in and steal lights out of the grass. I had my car broken into within my first month of living here. It was really frustrating."

Neighbors told Action News that frustration has since eased. Back in December, IKE introduced the Crimestoppers program and reminded families like the Weston’s what it was like to feel secure.

"You don't feel the need to step outside every two minutes to make sure the kids are okay,” Weston said.

And he said that goes for his kids, and his property. KIMA learned since the program began, graffiti has dropped roughly 80 percent in the area. It's also led to more than 20 criminal charges, including the arrest of a drug dealer.

"The students who would be doing wrong in school now have to watch their backs rather than the students who are here to get an education and for legit reasons watching theirs,” said Officer Ben Graves. “It's now reversed."

And staff told KIMA it's also reversed many students’ attitudes.

"Since I've been here, it's changed a lot,” said Fidensia Suarez. “The kids respect you more. They just do more."

The city council recently gave $250 to the program. We learned Sunnyside and Selah Schools are in the process of setting up similar efforts as well.

By Hayley Guenthner-KIMA News

IKE Crimestoppers Huge Success

February 21, 2011

YAKIMA -- KIMA is following up on the IKE Crimestoppers program. We've learned it continues to be a huge success, with the latest tip nabbing several drug dealers.

It's only been in place for a couple months, but already tips have led to more than 20 criminal charges. The busts range from graffiti to alcohol.

“There's been a transfer between students, and school security looked into it,” said Officer Ben Graves. “They found there was a transfer, and not only that, it was a marijuana and cocaine dealer here in the school. That has been dealt with."

Punishments range from suspension to arrests. All tips are completely anonymous and students get cash if those tips pan out.

By Hayley Guenthner-KIMA News

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