Omaha Public Radio News
2:32 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Omaha city leaders, police, community groups call for an end to violence

Omaha, NE – Omaha city officials, police, and community groups are coming together to call for an end to violence.

Recent shootings throughout the city have pushed Omaha's murder rate to 35 for the year. Tuesday morning, Omaha Police announced another gun amnesty day will be held Saturday at the Civic Auditorium. Mayor Jim Suttle says the program, which allows anyone to anonymously turn in guns and ammunition, has taken 700 guns off Omaha's streets this year.

Police Chief Alex Hayes says initiatives such as community policing are reducing crime. But he says those efforts must continue if Omaha is going to reduce crime long-term. "It's important for us as a group collaborative and the community to understand that we can't give up on those initiatives and we have to continue to work together and get more community involvement."

Omaha averaged 32 murders per year between 2001 and 2008, according to data compiled by the Empowerment Network.