The Yakima Police Department is housed in the Richard A. Zais Jr, Center for Law and Justice. The building was opened in 1996, and incorporates the Yakima City Jail, Yakima City Legal Department, and the Yakima Municipal Court.
YPD responds to approximately 60,000 calls for service each year, generating 25,000 criminal cases. In 2009 they made nearly 5,000 criminal arrests for non-traffic related crimes and issued 17,559 traffic tickets. The Yakima Police Department includes the Patrol, Detective and Special Operations Divisions. Within those divisions are the Gang Unit, K-9 Patrol unit, Narcotics K-9’s, SWAT, Traffic, Narcotics, and School Resource Officers..
The Community Services Office of the Yakima Police Department maintains a number of community programs aimed at preventing crime before it starts. Programs like GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training) and School Resource Officers keep the police in touch with the youth of the community
Block Watch, National Night Out Against Crime and other community outreach activities encourage citizen involvement in crime prevention.
The Yakima Police Department is continually striving to increase the level of criminal investigative technology expertise in the department. New personnel, equipment and skills have put YPD on the cutting edge of this modern field.
Crime reporting and statistical analysis puts state of the art tools in the hands of officers and keeps the public informed of conditions in the area.
Early Police Force
The Yakima Police Department has been protecting and serving the citizens of Yakima since the late 1800s. The department was originally comprised of just three officers, and by 1909 had grown to 11 regular officers. Today, the department has grown to a current force of over 140 officers and a support staff of approximately 40 civilian employees.
The officers in this photo were the entire Yakima Police Department in 1909. They are identified as, (from left to right) Bert Kayaw, “Big Ben”, and Jack Bagsby.
First Female Officer
Alice Bachison was the first female officer in the history of the Yakima Police Department . Originally from Tacoma, Bachison joined the YPD in 1951 when she was hired by the police chief at the time, Harold Robinson. She went on to enjoy a 32-year career with the department and helped to pave the way for more women to serve as officers and in other positions with the YPD. Bachison, retired from the YPD in 1983, passed away in 2015 at the age of 94. Today, nearly 11% of the YPD force is female.
Yakima Police Department Chiefs of Police
The Yakima Police Department has had 25 chiefs since it was founded in 1890 including two who served as interim chief. The longest serving chief was Harold Robinson, who served from 1932 to 1953. Current Chief Dominic Rizzi Jr. has served since 2012. Here are a list of all of the chiefs of the Yakima Police Department:
|No information available||1913-1914|
|John M. Gilmore||1918-1919|
|Jacob J. Bernath (acting chief)||1941-1942|
|Joe O. Lervold||1954-1955|
|Harold A. Robinson||1956|
|Robert L. Madden||1969-1972|
|Herbert Jack LaRue||1973-1983|
|Donald J. Blesio||1996-2002|
|Roy Wilson (interim)||2003|
|Samuel C. Granato||2003-2010|
|Greg Copeland (interim)||2011-2012|
|Dominic Rizzi Jr.||2012-present|