Patty in the News

YAKIMA -- Drug arrests are a daily routine for Yakima police. Whether it's marijuana, cocaine, or methamphetamine none of these drugs are new. Shawnee Cady says she has seen it out in the open. "In the night time, I usually see a bunch of cars sitting and somebody in the corner waiting for the person, and they'll be like cha!" Cady explained the drug deals through hand gestures.

Senator Patty Murray included Yakima in a bill to fight Methamphetamine. Yakima is one of several cities that would share 2.1 million dollars.

Captain Greg Copeland said, "These are tough times for everybody, including law enforcement, so anything that helps us on the fight against methamphetamine, or any other drug, could only be a good thing."

Methamphetamine is a problem, but Yakima police say a new drug has taken over the ranks.

"Cocaine is coming back again as the number one stimulant drug of choice here in Yakima and elsewhere as well," explained Copeland.

Statistics show in 2007, Yakima police seized 4,653.42 grams of methamphetamine. Last year, that number went down by a third. Compare that to the amount of cocaine police seized last year, it has increased 70%. Cady says it will take more than a bill to really fix the problem. "I think even if they do stop it, or try and stop it, it's never going to stop because if yo have an addiction, you'll find anyway to get that addiction," Cady said.

Yakima police and Senator Murray says they are up for the challenge. The bill is expected to be passed by Congress and President Obama in weeks. The money would also go toward fighting gang activity and other drug crimes.