Gang free initiative help kids stay out of trouble

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Calling that hotline was part of fighting the gang issues in Yakima. And, a new program under the Gang Free Initiative would help children avoid a thug life. Kids would get life skills training, academic support and mentoring. City Council hoped to have this program in place by the first of the year. Police said Yakima had more than 500 gang members.

"Ten, twelve, fifteen years from now, we're going to have our greatest impact there so we don't have to pay for the problem on the back end," said Yakima council member, Dave Ettl.

The investment for the program was expected to cost 140-thousand dollars in the first year. Yakima leaders believed it was critical to stop kids from joining gangs.