The city of Omaha continues its efforts to fight dangerous gang members and crime.
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert credits partnerships with federal agencies in combating anti-gang operations. She says the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO led to a number of arrests at the local level.
Mayor Stothert says, “Using the RICO laws we can address the criminal enterprise of a gang. I think we have seen a lot of progress of overall crimes being down and then you would also expect the clearance rates would improve and they have. The clearance rate for violent and property crime is better than the national average. The rate for homicide over the last five years exceeds 70%, well above the national average.”
Mayor Stothert says that is starting to turn around as well. She says at this time one year ago there were nine murders in the city. This year there is one. The number of burglary crimes has dropped 38% in recent years.
Mayor Stothert says they are expanding the Gang Unit. They have worked with federal partners over the past few years and have had great success with large operations that target gangs, drugs and guns. As an example, one was called Red Rising and that put over a dozen violent gang members in jail. Officials believe those arrested were at the core of a very violent street gang. Mayor Stothert also thanked the community for working with the police department and coming forward to report violent crime.