It's been talked about now it's about to become a reality in Yakima. The Yakima County Commissioners Friday accepted a 2.8 million federal grant to start what's being called the Regional Crime Intelligence Center. Vicki Baker from the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments says they haven't yet determined where the center will be located but it could be placed in a Yakima County Sheriff's Office substation in Zillah.

The federal money will help the county obtain highly specialized equipment

Baker says the federal grant money will cover the costs of setting up the center, connecting participating 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. Baker says it's the kind of crime fighting tools that have never been available in Yakima County.

The federal money will fund the operation for at least five years

Baker says the federal grant will the fund the Regional Crime Intelligence Center operation for at least five years. YVCOG is also hoping for combined support for the center from cities in the valley that would benefit from the use of the networked information.
Baker says the new center will help cities in the valley fight connect with each other to help combat crime that happens anywhere in the valley.
She says the sharing of information could help agencies arrest more wanted criminals and help curb local gang shootings.

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