Neighbor sees 'fights, gun play, everything'

YAKIMA, Wash. -- One can only hope to live in a safe, crime-free neighborhood. And that's what Officer Rich Fowler hoped to provide to you. He focused on Crime-Free Rental Housing. Officer Fowler said the additional properties registered with the program were making a difference.

"It cut down a lot of activity," said Rich. "There's more police officers on the streets to be pro-active versus reacting to these rental properties."

Almost 1,500 more properties registered to be in the crime-free program in the last two years. That jump led to a jump in calls to police for incidents ranging from noise violations to domestic violence. In 2011, more than 1,400 incidents occurred in Yakima's Crime-Free Rental Housing. There were more than 4000 last year.

Stef Giitye had been living in a Crime-Free neighborhood for eight years. Even so, Stef said neighbors were still scared to call the police.

"What do you see around your neighborhood?" asked Reporter.
"Fights, gun play, everything," said Stef.

"YPD says if a property gets three violations within a six month period, the tenant will receive a notification from the police and they'll keep a closer watch on their home," said Reporter.

Enrique Jevons owned 400 apartments that were part of the Crime-Free Rental Housing. He believed the program has cut down on incidents on his property.

"I can address and take care of it so it doesn't continually keep re-occuring," said Enrique.

Enrique used to get calls about trouble once a day. Now, he only gets a few calls a month.

"It helps me with retaining tenants because people want to live in a nice, calm, safe area," said Enrique.

The Crime Free EZ Tracking has allowed YPD to notify landlords quicker. All with the goal to get rid of bad renters.