Drop in crime for Hermiston, a positive sign for Tri-Cities

HERMISTON, Oreg. - It's a barometer of good news for Tri-Cities crime, KEPR learned property crime has dropped in Hermiston, which is a positive indicator for residents here in the Tri-Cities.

Noah Matlack will spend decades in prison for murdering a Benton City man, but he might not have been caught if it wasn't for Oregon police officer.

"That's a good example of inner agency cooperation, that was a Stanfield officer, who now works for us, digging, digging, digging, just because something didn't feel right and was able to reach out to Benton County and give some information," said Hermiston Police Chief, Jason Edmiston.

It's that flow of information between agencies is what likely made the difference. Comparing the first six months of the year to the same time last year, total crime is down by 25% in Hermiston. There have been the fewest number of stolen cars in a decade and burglary and larceny is also down a quarter.

"I believe aggressiveness in all of the agencies in the Tri-Cities is trickling down to Hermiston," said Chief Edmiston.

And Tri-Cities law enforcement says this is positive news for our community.

"It's a good thing for the Tri-Cities and I'll bet crime rates throughout the Tri-Cities, you will see some of the same trends or they will mirror closely with Hermiston, Walla Walla, and other outlying areas," said Pasco Captain, Jim Raymond

"Crime does not recognize boundaries or jurisdictions, our work with Tri-Cities agencies, work with Walla Walla agencies, it's just that flow of information," said Chief Edmiston.

Chief Edmiston says more than a quarter of arrests this year have come from a new two man street crimes unit, a similar policing system is used in Pasco.

"Being free from a normal call load, but being active and aggressive and going after those that are familiar with us and manipulating the system," said Chief Edmiston.

And that aggressive and active partnership is something by sides hope continue.

"We have good, open relationships with these departments and work back and forth with each other," said Captain Raymond.

Police say that Oregon law enforcement and Tri-Cities law enforcement meet on a regular basis to share information, sometimes as often as once a month.