Warrants cleared dropped by 40%

TRI-CITIES, YAKIMA, Wash. -- Action News is always staying on top of local crime trends. Just this week, several violent crimes were committed across our area, even on Christmas. We learned warrants cleared for most crimes have dropped by nearly 40 percent.

Thomas Metz and his wife moved to the Tri-Cities from a small town on the east coast. That was four years ago. Since then, he says the area's gang activity has come as a surprise. Not to mention the higher number of sex offenders.

"Since we have two young grandkids going to school and will be going to school, and I'm kind of surprised by all them in the area," said Tri-City resident Thomas Metz.

Thomas was relieved to know the U.S. Marshals Service is helping. Officers partner with police agencies in Yakima and the Tri-Cities. Helping clear warrants for anything from petty to violent crimes.

"So looks like we're getting a handle on it," added Metz.

I pulled all the numbers of warrants cleared this year and last. Between Yakima and Tri-Cities, the number of warrants cleared has gone down by almost 40 percent. Although 2013 doesn't include the month of December, officials confirm it's a true downward trend. They tell me targeting more violent offenders has contributed to the drop.

"So more police officers, so have more people watching for criminals," said Metz.

The decline of overall crime warrants have stayed steady. However, burglaries and fraud warrants have both dropped significantly. Burglaries plummeted by nearly 70 percent.

Citizens like Thomas hope the drop in property crimes reflects an active trend.

"We have a security system in our home and security lights outside, watchful neighbors. That's another thing that plays a part into it," said Metz.

Factors that play a role in keeping watch over our community. To keep you safe. The Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force began two years ago. It's one of the local agencies that goes after more serious criminals.