Yakima community members voice their thoughts on who they want for police chief

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    YAKIMA Wa. -- The city of Yakima is looking for a new police chief and wants the public’s help for the recruitment process.

    The Yakima Police Department has been without a police chief since September of last year but city leaders are hoping to find someone soon.

    Today the city hosted a public meeting to get people’s input on what they would like in a new police chief.

    Many community members said they would like more transparency, accountability, and someone who’s familiar with the community.

    “He definitely needs to be publicly visible and available for the public but also to the police officers themselves. I think assessing their skills making the best use of the officers he has on hand," said community member Patricia Byers.

    “We just want to make sure that our chief is trying to engage with the community as a whole and really try to focus on the issues by using compassion and understanding," said community member Cassandra Collins.

    City manager Cliff Moore says it is important to get the communities opinions because in the end the new police chief will be serving the people of Yakima.

    Former police chief Dominic Rizzi was fired last year after six years with the department because city leaders said it was time for new leadership.

    Moore says they want someone who can further the goals and objectives of 21st century policing.

    “We want somebody that understands the needs and the interests of our community, does interact with them on a daily basis but also infuses within the department that spirit of collegiality of neighborliness," said Moore.

    While the search is underway Captain Gary Jones has been filling in as Interim Chief.

    Moore says they hope to have a new chief hired by the spring.

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