How Safe Is Your City?

During the daytime, Yakima can be just like any other city, but when the sun sets, some feel like it becomes a whole new element.

"Anywhere on, I would say east of 16th Avenue, iI wouldn't walk around unless I was definitely with a group of people," said Cory Smith.

According to a recent poll by Gallup, Yakima ranks as one of the least safe cities, according to its own residents.

The poll asked people if they feel safe walking around the area at night, only about half of the people said yes, far below the national average of 70%.

In fact, Yakima ranked second amongst cities where people feel the least secure

Not surprisingly, those we spoke to cite crime as the main reason.

This year alone, there have been 5 officer involved shootings in the county, and 7 arsons within a single Yakima neighborhood - the city has also averaged about 8 homicides a year since 2008, according to Crime in the U.S. Reports.

Yakima also consistently ranks in the top 10 for number of vehicle thefts.

It doesn't surprise me, but it's pretty shocking," said Smith, "It's kind of sad to to think I live in that type of community."

However, police say those fears are simply a wrong perception.

Police say the homeless numbers could attribute to the fear of safety, but overall, the number of crimes are down.

"We've had a decrease in overall crime in the city, we've had a decrease in violent crime," said Police Chief Dominic Rizzi, "With the overall crime being down, we just need to battle the perception, so perception and reality are the same."

"If [people] Do approach me, it's just to figure out where they're going and if they need something," said Cynthia Tovar, "But I feel safe walking around Yakima, I don't have a problem at all."