Housing Authority Tackles Gang Violence

Ryan Simms (KIMATV) | Nov 14, 2010

YAKIMA — Fighting gang violence with just one cop. It’s the idea behind a new community effort at the Yakima Housing Authority.

Benee Kent never imagined it would get to this point: a time when her neighborhood is besieged by gangs and violence lurks eerily close to home.

“Walking out here, a single female alone, anything can happen,” she tells KIMA.

Kent has lived in the Yakima Housing Authority for seven years now. So many years later, she’s still grateful for the roof over her head, but wary about the dangers outside.

One of the most terrifying moments for Kent came when a 17-year-old gang member was gunned down on the street corner just 100 feet from her complex.

Enter Officer Jake Lancaster; a full time cop hired to keep local folks safe. As the Housing Authority’s first-ever police officer, his job is as complex and it is simple: keeping gangbangers from finding a safe haven in Kent’s community.

Officer Lancaster never knows what each “corner” will bring. KIMA was with him as he found graffiti on the side of a nearby apartment complex. Three months into his job, his top priority to help folks establish a series of block watches. He knows there’s safety in numbers.

Article continues at: http://www.kimatv.com/news/local/108075044.html

Image source: KIMATV

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