A career as a Yakima Police Officer provides challenge, excitement, variety, teamwork, and job satisfaction. There are opportunities for career advancement and movement into specialty assignments, including Traffic and Motors, Narcotics, K-9, School Resource Officers, Detectives, Firearms Instructors, Field Training Officers, and the Critical Response Team (SWAT and Hostage Negotiations). Learn more about the unit opportunities available at YPD below.
The Patrol Division is the largest and most visible unit in the Yakima Police Department. The Patrol Division strives to serve the community in a competent and professional manner. The primary objective of the Yakima Police Department’s Patrol Division is to reduce violent crime through proactive policing efforts as well as responding to calls for service.
The Patrol Division’s definition of providing police services is a lot more than just taking a report or making arrests. The members strive to improve community relations through planned outreach events, as well as positive community interactions on a daily basis. These positive interactions allow for department members to work collaboratively with our community, encourage cooperation in investigations, and prevent criminal activity.
School Resource Officers
(SROs) are police officers assigned to elementary, middle, and high schools in a cooperative agreement with the Yakima School District. They are responsible for working effectively with school administrators, security staff, faculty, and students to enforce comprehensive safety plans to ensure schools are safe places for students to learn. An SRO will patrol school district property to protect students, staff, and visitors from physical harm and deter criminal activity.
The primary goal of the traffic unit is to reduce injuries and death resulting from traffic collisions. The majority of officers assigned to this unit receive extensive training in collision reconstruction and investigation. Officers assigned to this until have a number of duties, including traffic enforcement, school zone enforcement, accident reduction, collision investigation, escorts, and special event traffic control.
The traffic unit primarily utilizes police motorcycles for their duties during good weather, and when weather prohibits the use of motorcycles, officers use traffic cars.
Canine Officers receive specialized training to work with a canine partner to enforce laws and apprehend suspects. The dog is the police officer’s partner not only at work, but also at home. Each officer is responsible for their animal partner’s feeding, training, and health. K9 officers work within the Patrol Division to provide officers with an additional tool to apprehend subjects who present a danger to officers.
Crisis Response Unit
The Crisis Response Unit is comprised of two highly-specialized teams. The Crisis Negotiations Team (CNT) and Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT). The CRU provides specialized support in handling high risk and critical incidents where intense negotiations and/or special tactical deployment methods beyond the capacity of field officers are necessary.
Crisis Negotiations Team
The CNT consists of members from the Yakima Police Department, Union Gap Police Department, Washington State Department of Corrections, and the Washington State Patrol with assistance from mental health professionals. The CNT trains on a regular basis where they hone their negotiating skills, ensure their equipment is working properly, and receive updated training regarding dealing with individuals who are emotionally-disturbed, suffering from substance use disorder, and mental health issues.
Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT)
The SWAT Team is comprised of officers from the Yakima Police Department, Union Gap Police Department, Grandview Police Department, Deputies from the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, a firefighter from the Yakima Fire Department, and volunteers who have extensive medical training. The SWAT Team trains twice a month with an additional forty hour team week once a year. Team members maintain high physical fitness and firearms proficiency standards. The SWAT Team responds to high risk incidents throughout Yakima County and also responds to assist agencies in surrounding counties.
Criminal Investigation Division…
Criminal Investigations are made up of five primary areas of focus:
Property Crimes Unit
The Property Crimes Unit investigates crimes against property including residential and commercial burglary, auto theft, vandalism, identity theft and a variety of other types of fraud.
The Gang Unit reduces gang-related crimes and active gang membership through a collaborative effort with our federal partners utilizing vigorous prosecution of gang members involved in criminal activity by use of covert surveillance, intelligence gathering, proactive field contacts, comprehensive investigations, and arrests of gang members. These strategies reduce gang-related criminal activity and violent crime in our community and enhances the feeling of safer neighborhoods for the residents of Yakima.
The Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force is a headquarters-funded task force focused on enforcing the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States, as well as utilizing federal and local resources to enforce state laws relating to those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the manufacture or distribution of controlled substances.
Special Assault Unit (SAU)
The YPD Special Assault Unit investigates all sexual assaults that occur in Yakima. Victims range from infants to the elderly and can be developmentally delayed or otherwise unable to knowingly consent to sexual relations with the offender.
All Domestic Violence investigations are assigned to this unit, which requires working closely with various advocacy groups and community partners to assist victims of assault.
SAU requires a significant amount of training in such areas as Child Forensic Interviews, Sexual Assault Interviews, and Internet Based Crimes Against Children.
Major Crimes Unit (MCU)
MCU personnel investigate homicides, suspicious deaths, and serious assaults—often including deadly weapons, robberies, missing persons, and other major felonies committed in the Yakima city limits.
MCU investigators are highly-trained, seasoned, and detailed investigators. They often work long and irregular hours, especially during the initial hours of a major crime investigation. Trials are often long, complex, and highly publicized due to the potential for lengthy prison sentences. Thorough and accurate case preparation is always the rule.
Corrections Officers assigned to this division are responsible for the care and custody of offenders charged with and/or convicted of misdemeanor crimes occurring within the City of Yakima. Yakima City Jail is a 79 bed, full-service facility housing male offenders. Duties include booking and classification, transports, court security duties, monitoring visitations, and accounting for prisoner property and funds. Often officers begin their careers with YPD in the Corrections Division.
Police Services Division…
YPD officers provide a number of services to the community beyond patrol and crime prevention. We offer positions provided from the station that include services to the public such as Property and Evidence Retrieval, Verification Reports, Fingerprinting, and more.