KPD links aggressive drivers to high crime hotspots

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Kennewick Police have a new strategy on the roads. They plan to crack down on aggressive drivers. Police say there's a link between bad drivers and high crime hot spots.

It only takes seconds to lose a life on the road.

"A lot of times, we'll hear the screeches and run to the windows," said business owner Jackie Brown.

Jackie Brown owns Shelby's Flowers on the corner of Clearwater and Edison Street. Police call this intersection a hot spot for collisions and crime. It's one of the first targets of KPD's new traffic strategy. Cops find a link between a high numbers of accidents and high crime.

"I think it's wonderful. Anything that helps. I mean, we aren't sure of what happens after we close our doors, so if there's somebody looking out after our business, we certainly should be appreciative of that," said Brown.

Police say criminals are usually risk-takers. They may drive aggressively. So this new method of patrolling is more direct.

"Whether it's criminal gang activity, or car thieves or shoplifters, they engage in risky behavior which transitions over to their driving," said Kennewick Police Sergeant Ken Lattin.

Police will reevaluate and shift focus on areas as necessary each month. The first targeted 'hot spots' are Fourth Avenue and Olympia Street, plus Clearwater Avenue and Union Street.

"I've already seen an increase from our traffic officers the number of criminal arrests, misdemeanors...We're seeing an increase in that because that is the audience we are targeting," added Sgt. Lattin.

Efforts to curb crime and keep you safe on our roads.

In 2012, Canal Drive at Columbia Center Boulevard recorded the most accidents in Kennewick. Richland and Pasco tell us they don't plan to shift any strategies for traffic patrols.