April is almost over and already Omaha has had three times as many shootings in April than in March
Last month, there were three shootings in Omaha, one of them resulting in a homicide.
“Generally as the weather gets warmer we do see a lot more shots fired, a lot more shootings,” says Officer Phil Anson, spokesperson for the Omaha Police Department.
In April, 10 shootings have been reported, including an officer-involved shooting and two homicides, one at 26th and Hamilton St. and the other at 65th and Ames St.
The spike in gun violence has prompted community leaders at the weekly Omaha 360 meeting to act and help prevent more violence from happening, especially in North Omaha.
“When a spike occurs, there’s periodic times when it happens. So how we get it under control? How do we reach out directly to those involved, to the families affected?” said Willie Barney, President of the Empowerment Network.
At Wednesday’s Omaha 360 meeting, people discussed ways to work collectively to intensify efforts by supporting the network’s youth mentoring programs, therefore focusing on prevention.
Barney says through the different organizations involved, they’re also focusing on other programs such as intervention, enforcement, reentry, and collaboration with police.
“It’s important to have a strong community-police relationship – that’s how we know what we need to be doing with these programs and know which programs we need be investing more so we can reduce some of the spike we typically see in April and May,” added Barney.
“With all the shootings that have been happening, we just always ask people to just call us,” says Anson. “Most people don’t realize that just the smallest bit of information that they may give to Crime Stoppers or an Omaha Police representative – that small bit of information could be the biggest piece of the puzzle that we need to solve a crime or make an arrest.”
The Omaha Crime Stoppers pay rewards ranging from $1,000 to $25,000, for any information that could lead to an arrest.
Crime Stoppers pay a reward of $25,000 for any information to leads to a homicide arrest, $10,000 for any information that leads to a shooting or bank robbery arrest, $5,000 for any information leading to a homicide fugitive arrest, $2,500 for information related to a prescription fraud arrest, and $1,000 for a gun bounty tip.