Thu September 6, 2012
Task force recommends solutions to curb gun violence
Expansion of gun amnesty programs, a gun buy-back, and an additional OPD gang specialist are among the recommendations of a task force studying violence in Omaha.
Mayor Jim Suttle’s illegal guns task force began meeting in March to discuss solutions to gun violence. 27 people have been murdered in Omaha this year.
Jonathan Crosby, special city prosecutor for Omaha and co-chair of the task force, says one recommendation would place additional conditions on those convicted of a misdemeanor gun offense in hopes of preventing future violence. For example, those on probation for a misdemeanor gun crime would be required to have an employment strategy, mentoring, or be working toward completing their education.
Crosby says Omaha is a safe city, with a small minority committing the majority of the crimes. Police Chief Todd Schmaderer agrees. "We live in a great community and I always tend to get questions on the negative side of things. Omaha is an excellent city, we’re very safe, and comparatively you’re not going to find a city our size that’s a better place to live. With that being said, we have some issues we’re trying to address, and that’s our job as a police department to recognize trends and outbreaks of violence and get in there and address them."
The recommendations also include additional training for Omaha police officers, and community outreach involving neighborhood associations.