County agrees to violent crime task force

A project in the works for months, a mutual agreement between Yakima County and several other agencies, including the city of Sunnyside, was given the thumbs up by county commissioners yesterday, Tuesday.

The agreement calls for the county sheriff, county department of corrections, the ATF, immigrations, U.S. Marshal's service, Yakama Nation police, the state department of corrections, as well as the cities of Yakima and Sunnyside police departments to partner together in a Violent Crimes Task Force.

Besides county commissioners, the other entities involved will also need to sign off on the agreement, including Sunnyside.

Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder said the city's current staffing level does not allow for a full-time person to be staffed for the task force. He said Detective Jim Ortiz will be coordinating his efforts on an "as-needed basis" with the other agencies involved in the task force when it comes to addressing violent crimes.

Radder said a benefit of the agreement is that "a lot of our criminals travel." He said the task force fosters a "spirit of cooperation and sharing resources."

ATF, or the federal alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives bureau, for example, would bring expertise in tracking weapons. Radder said if Sunnyside police find a gun related to a violent crime, ATF can help local officers determine who the gun belongs to.


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