Police officials all around the state say 2022 was a struggle to fill the ranks of departments because of a number of factors including laws in the state that limit the actions of the officers. 2023 isn't looking any better since many of the laws are still in place and there's not a lot of talk of democrats supporting republican bills for change.


Recruiting efforts continue because the YPD needs officers

Yakima Police Recruiting Officer Hayley Myers works to attract new officers and officers who transfer from other areas or lateral officers. Just like many other cities Yakima is short on the number of officers the city could fund if the officers were available. Currently the department is budgeted for 143 full time officers. Today the number of officers on the streets of Yakima is 108 with 11 openings.

Ever think about becoming a corrections officer?

As the department works to attract more officers they're also searching for new corrections officers and lateral corrections officers from other departments. The city is also offering a $5,000 incentive payment to take the job.
That incentive payment hasn't been available in Yakima while other cities and counties have been offering the bonuses for years.

The low number of officers mean others are doing double duty

The lack of officers has made it a challenge for all officers because many have had to work overtime hours and perform other duties that used to be handled by other officers. The shortage forced the Yakima Police Department to cancel the traffic unit last year and transfer those duties to patrol officers. Since then the department has been slowly building back the traffic unit. The unit has been busy since late summer with major emphasis patrols that continue in 2023.

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