Yakima could park patrol cars on your street

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Dozens of more police cars for YPD. Cars assigned to officers for them to take home. Supporters said it could help cut crime.

It may be a new way to deter crime in Yakima. 74 marked patrol cars scattered across the city. Officers would take their cars home with the idea that would-be criminals might think twice when they see a fleet parked in driveways and not just the police station.

It's welcome news to Lorry Evert Garvin.

"It's not as comfortable living here as it used to be and I've been here for a great many years," said Lorry.

She's noticed more vandalism and tagging in her neighborhood. Cars have also been broken into. Living near a Yakima police officer has put her more at ease.

"It's tough living alone," said Lorry. "I do live alone except for these two hounds from you know where but they start barking in the night and I wonder what's going on."

Not only would she have a patrol car nearby, but the program requires officers to monitor their police radio even when they're off duty. The Yakima Police Union actually agreed to the change. They agreed to defer pay raises for two-years to pay for the vehicles. It's saving Yakima more than four-million dollars.

Mayor Micah Cawley believes this is one more step in turning the crime rate around.

"Crime touches us all in different ways and if we can deter that somehow and have more police presence around town, that's a good thing," said Micah.

Tacoma has followed a similar program in place since the late 1990's. We learned it's mostly been a cost savings there. The department doesn't pay to park the cars overnight. So what about that crime deterrent?

KIMA compared violent crime in Tacoma over a ten-year period that the program was in use. KIMA found violence dropped consistently in most years as well as property crime.

City council will vote on the proposal on Tuesday night.