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 79,500 calls for service each year. In 2014, they made nearly 3,281 criminal arrests for non-traffic related crimes. The Yakima Police Department includes the Patrol, Detective, and Special Operations Divisions. Within those divisions are the Gang Unit, K-9 Patrol Unit, 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. Block Watch, National Night Out Against Crime, and other outreach activities encourage community 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.
The first ever Yakima Police Department Honor Guard was formed in 2004 under then-Chief Sam Granato. To make sure that the YPD Honor Guard was properly trained, the original members drilled with the United States Marine Corps ceremonial elite units at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. (also known as the 8th & I). The YPD Honor Guard’s first assignment was the 1st Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Day Ceremony on May 14th, 2004. Each of the original members put in close to 100 hours of uncompensated training and practicing for the ceremony. This event was a huge success and it was the beginning of a new era for the department.
Since then, YPD Honor Guard members have served and represented Yakima at community functions and at the funerals of law enforcement officers across the Pacific Northwest. The Honor Guard is a voluntary team comprised of officers from several police divisions who are selected after an application process. They must agree to a commitment of no less than two years and must make themselves available for trainings and events.
The mission of the YPD Honor Guard continues to be highly-polished and professional representation of the Yakima Police Department and the Yakima community.
Yakima Police Department Chiefs of Police
The Yakima Police Department has had 26 Chiefs since it was founded in 1890, including three who served as Interim Chief. The longest serving Chief was Harold Robinson, who served from 1932 to 1953. Chief Matthew Murray has served since 2019. Here are a list of all of the Chiefs of the Yakima Police Department:
|James Curran||1903 – 1904|
|M.H. Kinnaman||1910 – 1912|
|No information available||1913 – 1914|
|John M. Gilmore||1918 – 1919|
|D.G. Smith||1921 – 1923|
|James Perry||1924 – 1928|
|J.Edward Sullivan||1929 – 1931|
|Harold Robinson||1932 – 1953|
|Jacob J. Bernath (Interim)||1941 – 1942|
|Joe O. Lervold||1954 – 1955|
|Harold A. Robinson||1956|
|Oscar Soderstrom||1957 – 1966|
|Douglas Campbell||1967 – 1968|
|Robert L. Madden||1969 – 1972|
|Herbert Jack LaRue||1973 – 1983|
|Pleas Green||1984 – 1995|
|Donald J. Blesio||1996 – 2002|
|Roy Willson (Interim)||2003|
|Samuel C. Granato||2003 – 2010|
|Greg Copeland (Interim)||2011 – 2012|
|Dominic Rizzi Jr.||2012 – 2018|
|Gary Jones (Interim)||2018 – 2019|
|Matthew Murray||2019 – Current|