Nearly three years in the making, the City of Yakima’s Gang Free Initiative was officially adopted this morning at a council study session. The initiative represents the city’s commitment to helping prevent and intervene in the process of kids becoming gang members.  It’s often been said that we “can’t arrest our way out of this problem”.

Now the city has a federally approved comprehensive approach to derail the next generation of gang wannabes.  Suppression efforts will continue for today’s gang bangers but the hope and plan is to redirect the young people that would otherwise grow up to take their place.  A great effort and a great day for Yakima.  High fives to Kathy Coffey, Maureen Adkison, Lt. Mike Merryman and coordinator Steve Magellan for steering the ship and to many concerned Yakima residents who helped make it happen.