Yakima's proposed plans to increase public safety next year

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima is looking to improve public safety. Leaders have made plans for next year hoping to tackle your biggest concerns.

Beautiful climate and a home to many. Some could say Yakima is unlike any other.

"The people, the four seasons," said Patty Ferguson.

"There's a lot of people here," said Mark Essery. "It just has that small homey feeling to it."

The recent online citizen survey showed only 25% of residents felt safe during the day in downtown Yakima. And causing the city to step up efforts to clean up crime. Some have noticed. Patty Ferguson has lived in Yakima for almost 50 years. She wants to see more block watches and community groups.

"We can't improve unless everybody participates in their own area," said Patty.

Part of Yakima's plan for next year targets public safety. Proposals include expanding downtown police bike patrols. Officers will ride around to the spring and fall. The department is also planning to boost their license plate check system to reduce car thefts. There are also plans to hire a Gang Free Initiative Manager to build more partnerships.

Leaders are also looking to increase staff at the Yakima Fire department. Eliminating the need to rely on other departments and improving response times.

"There's a lot of back alleys that are pretty dark," said Mark. "I just don't feel quite that safe. I feel like a lot of people don't."

"I've seen more changes in the past year than I have in a long time," said Patty.

City Council will have a meeting Monday to further discuss the plans.