JANUARY: Richland doesn't escape violent crimes

RICHLAND - The effort to keep crime at bay is also happening in Tri-Cities. In the aftermath of a violent month, Richland police are using a system that assigns teams of officers to certain areas of town. The goal is to stop the violent offenders from crossing over the Columbia River and causing trouble in the middle of Richland.

An attempted abduction - and a shooting. Violent crime isn't exactly what David Murray had in mind for his town.

DAVID: "we feel totally safe," said Richland resident David Murray.

Officials tell us violent acts are mostly random.

"Where the month of January typically wouldn't be on our radar for a violent month," said Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb.

What makes these crimes even more unpredictable? Police say criminals aren't geographically tied. So what happens on what side of the Columbia.could easily happen on the other.

"So they will travel freely between the incorporated areas of the city as well as out in to the county," said Cpt. Cobb.

Experts tell me criminals don't pay attention to political boundaries either -- who's protecting which town.

"I think what you are seeing is much more similarly related crime throughout the Tri-Cities," added Cpt. Cobb.

Richland Police use "geo-based" patrolling -- assigning officers to specific areas to learn a neighborhood better.

"Just mere presence isn't going to do it," said Cpt. Cobb.

Richland Police divide patrol into three districts - south - below the Yakima River. Central sits between the river and Williams. North is anything beyond that up to city limits.

Two officers are assigned to each district - with two supervisors overall. The Street Crimes Unit works flexible hours - arranging schedules to track outbreaks of crime. That means -- officials can spot a trend on Tuesday, and flex hours to meet that need.

COBB: "going where they go, working when they work," explained Cpt. Cobb.

Knowing your street -- and hunting down criminals - to keep your family protected. And as the other agencies -- Richland also works with the Metro Drug Task Force.