Yakima City Says No Thanks To Funding Crime Lab
The city of Yakima will investigate its own crime and save money each year by not being part of the regional crime lab. On Tuesday the Yakima City Council, on a 4-3 vote decided against supporting the center and paying $91,000 annually to fund the operations.
Matt Brown, Holly Cousens and Patricia Byers all were in favor of supporting the lab but they were in the minority. City council members Janice Deccio, Danny Herrera, Soneya Lund and Eliana Macias voted against supporting the lab. The city had proposed a one year contract with the lab.
The chair of the center board says not concerned Yakima said no
Startup funding for the center comes from $2.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for equipment, staff and training. Cities in the valley will also support the center through an annual payment. The amount each city will pay is based on population. Yakima would have been the largest contributor at $91,000 annually. But that money won't be available now. That's okay for Yakima County Sheriff Bob Udell is the Chair of the regional crime lab operations board. He says he would have liked to see Yakima support the lab but he says it'll go forward without the city.
Lots of specialized equipment is on the way to Yakima
The lab will help solve crime all around the county. The startup money from ARPA funding will cover the costs of setting up the center, connecting partipating cities plus highly specialized equipment that will help identify shell casings found in area shootings. Another machine will give investigators a rapid DNA test result and a third computer program will allow detectives to search and analyze criminals cellphones. Udell says they're the kind of crime fighting tools that have never been available in Yakima County.