KEEP GUNS “OUTTA” SCHOOL—Yakima County is a new concept; how it started.

Over three years ago, Partners in Crime Prevention started the Keep Guns Outta Schools program in Spokane County. This program encourages students to contact a hotline number, a teacher, a principal or other person in authority if they have knowledge of a weapon or drugs on school property. A reward is offered and the tipster remains completely anonymous. This program has been responsible for removing just under twenty items from Spokane County schools. What a success story!

Funding for promotion of this program has come from Project Safe Neighborhoods, part of Homeland Security and under the auspices of the US Attorneys office. This source has funded Spokane County’s program since inception. PSN wanted to fund this program again, they added one caveat: that the same program be offered to Yakima County. That brings it here to Yakima’s local equivalent of Partners in Crime Prevention, Crime Stoppers!

Yakima area law enforcement as well as educators and community leaders have applauded the idea of this program’s implementation in Yakima County as one clear way to let the communities we serve know we intend to keep our kids, our staff, and surrounding areas safe. The enthusiasm this program has already received has been nothing short of wonderful! Thanks to Yakima County Sheriff, Ken Irwin and Yakima Chief of Police, Sam Granato for opening doors and helping with this crucial message.

This is not a school-specific issue and we need to insure the message gets to all students, parents, partners and the media that the community of Yakima County intends to take control of this issue in their schools.

While the PSN grant will fund area-wide radio spots and posters, monies from the grant cannot be used to fill the reward coffers. We have approached a number of business leaders and are quite pleased with the reception, but any funding to increase our reward coffers would be an even finer way to insure that we are all in this together, ready to tackle the problem, prepared to reward students who do the right thing.

Donations to the Keep Guns Outta School program can be sent to Yakima County Crime Stopper, P.O. Box 1388, Yakima, Wa  98907
Any questions regarding this program can be directed to Robin Karp, Coordinator for Yakima Co. Crime Stoppers (509)574-2610 or Mark Peterson, President of Yakima Co. Crime Stoppers (509) 453-2561  e-mail: 

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