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Mayor, Police Union at odds over snow response

Posted at 5:12 PM, Jan 20, 2016

After four inches of snow fell in Omaha on Tuesday, the Omaha Police Officer Association and the Mayor are both speaking out.

The Dodge street mess was a hot topic on social media after Omaha Police officers shut down the road near 90th st. to allow plows to come through.

“Having talked to those officers, it was two hours from when they first got on the radio and said we need a plow here to when a plow showed up,” said Omaha Police Officers Association President, John Wells

Wells said the officer on scene took the best course of action to protect the public.

Mayor Jean Stothert criticized the officers for shutting down Dodge.

Telling the Omaha World Herald, "I can't say the decision by that officer was something that was well thought out.”

When KMTV spoke with her she defended her statement, “when you close down Dodge street, that is unprecedented and is a major event, I didn't know about it, the deputy of the police command staff didn't know about it, and our public works department didn't know about it, so that's why I said I don't think it was very well thought out.”

She said she was unaware of the problems on Dodge.

“It seems like if there had been an incident there, if there was an issue like that there, it seems like they would have called the public works or Mayor's office.”

Wells said the blame should not fall on the officers on scene.

“It's unfortunate now that while the officers were standing out in the cold and dealing with a catastrophe, beyond their control, that city officials while sitting in the comfort of their warm offices are criticizing that decision.”

The mayor said she is aware of the complaints against the city's snow removal on Tuesday

“When you have any kind of big snow event during rush hour, you are going to have problems, but to stay we weren't doing anything, that's not true, to say there weren't plow out, that's not true,” said Mayor Stothert.

For the full interview with Mayor Stothert click here.

To see the full statement from the Omaha Police Officers Association click here.