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(January 2, 2019)

Omaha passed a milestone in 2018. Christmas Day marked 100 days since the last homicide in Omaha.  “This has never been done before. We are proud to be the guardians of our great city!!!” OPD reported in a Facebook post.

At the recent “State of North Omaha Summit”, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer reported the city’s homicide rate is the lowest per capita in 20 years.  In 2018, Omaha police investigated 22 homicides, compared to 29 in 2017, 30 in 2016 and 48 in 2015.  

The number of shootings also declined in 2018 to 100.

Overall, crime in Omaha decreased in 2018; violent crime and property crime both fell 10%.

“Our vital signs are looking good,” said Chief Schmaderer.

He described the vital signs as excellent police work, support from Mayor Jean Stothert and the Omaha City Council for increasing the number of police officers and resources, a high clearance rate (the number of cases solved), the number of complaints against officers and police-community relations.

"Mayor Stothert makes public safety, and public safety funding her priority, and that directly impacts the safety of our citizens and our ability to police the city," said Chief Schmaderer. 

The OPD clearance rate is 91%, much higher than the national average. “If you have good police-community relations, you have a high clearance rate,” said the chief.

“We are a safer city because of the efforts of our results-oriented police department and the community groups that work with us on crime prevention programs, neighborhood safety, and youth intervention. We have an overall, declining violent crime rate, because of these important relationships,” said Mayor Jean Stothert.

In 2019, Omaha Police will open a fifth police precinct building in Elkhorn.  The traffic division, SWAT team and bomb squad will also be located at the new building.  Boundaries for all five precincts will be redrawn, and a new class of recruits will graduate and complete their training to coincide with the opening of the precinct. In 2019, the number of officers will grow to 902, a record high number.

The new “west” precinct’s eastern boundary will be Interstate 680.  The northwest and southwest precincts will be renamed simply “north” and “south”; their western boundaries will extend further west to 680.  The northeast and southeast precincts will maintain their current names and geographic boundaries.

“Five precincts will nicely cover our call load and provide good police services,” said Chief Schmaderer. He said it will especially help with preventing property crimes. “Property crimes are crimes of opportunity.  Police visibility will help reduce that.”

“This growth is part of the plan we started to develop five years ago, to provide the services we need in a growing city, and that includes the new precinct,” said Mayor Stothert. “Adding a new precinct and increasing the number of police officers is part of our strategic plan to provide the resources our police department needs to provide excellent services throughout the city.”

Crime statistics are reported quarterly and annually on the Omaha Police Department website, https://police.cityofomaha.org/crime-information-2018/crime-statistics-2018

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