Pasco crime rate down 83% since 1989

Pasco crime rate down 83% since 1989 »Play Video
PASCO, Wash. -- KEPR is taking a closer look at crime in our community. Crime was pretty much flat for Kennewick compared year to year. But in Pasco, a drop. The city is safer than the state average.

Carl Holder has been living and running a business in downtown Pasco for the last 20 years. He says he has never had a concern.

"Everybody feels safe here, everybody walks on the street, and we don't see hardly any crime here at all, and it's evident in the current statistics," said Holder.

Since 1989, the crime rate in Pasco has fallen more than 80 percent.
And, in the most recent year to year numbers, crime fell a whopping eleven percent. This means Pasco had 27 crime victims per 1000 people - far below the state average of roughly 40 crimes per 1000 people. Pasco points directly to the success of its Street Crimes Unit.

"A couple of hundred different arrests in one year; about half of those were gang members. All of that helps push down the crime activity," said City Manager Gary Crutchfield.

That unit was funded by the Crime Tax, passed by Franklin County voters. It allows police to stay proactive, focusing on gangs and property thefts. These officers aren't burdened with other calls to respond to, so they can keep that proactive focus.

Carl feels having the police presence on the streets is helping his employees feel secure at his shop at all times.

"Young ladies that work here, and they work late at night in the tax and insurance business, and they come and go, and they are safe,"said Holder.

"We try to walk out in pairs just to be safe, but we don't really see anything going on, and there is always lots of cops," said Sandra Pineda.

The police model has made a clear difference, making Pasco the safest it's been in decades.

Pasco also attributes its success to community-oriented policing. This includes establishing a relationship with people in the neighborhoods.