Drastic decrease in shots fired calls to YPD

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Action News learned there's been a dramatic drop in the number of people calling Yakima Police after hearing gunshots. Law enforcement says it's a reflection on a safer environment in town. KIMA spoke to some who are still concerned.

Just this week, Yakima Police arrested a man suspected of a drive by shooting on Chestnut Street. Crimes like this have neighbors phoning police after hearing the gun blasts.

"This used to be a real peaceful place to live, but kind of scares a person nowadays to walk down the street do anything like we used to," said Yakima resident Carol Thompson.

Despite that feeling, fewer shots are reported now than just two years ago. I pulled the numbers and found the amount of shots fired calls has fallen off steadily since 2010. Police are encouraged and credit a more targeted effort to fight gangs.

"Anytime you have this kind of reduction in numbers you know you're reducing the probability that there's going to be somebody struck by the gunfire," said Yakima Police Captain Rod Light.

People living in this neighborhood here say that while that statistic is comforting, it doesn't make them feel any safer.

"Maybe things are decreasing as far as some crime in this area, however it doesn't change the fact that there's plenty of people out there with guns sort of speak that shouldn't," said Yakima resident Craig Winona.

"One time I actually witnessed a guy get shot outside my window just on the corner here and hobble up the block so I definitely do not feel safe," said Calvin Friend, who also lives in Yakima.

Despite the perception, Yakima Police say knowing fewer people are calling to report trouble -- means less trouble is plaguing the Yakima community.