The Omaha Police Officers Association is speaking out in support of a decision to close a portion of Dodge Street Tuesday so snow plows could clear the road.
The organization posted an update on Facebook in reaction to Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert’s comments criticizing an officer who closed down westbound Dodge Street from Cass Street to 90th Street around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“At a time when traffic was backed up for over half a mile, officers were attempting to track a suspect armed with an assault rifle who committed a robbery. Due to road conditions, numerous radio calls were backing up that the city was not staffed to handle. Seeing dozens of citizens attempting to get their cars unstuck at the bottom of a hill an on scene Omaha police officer made the decision to increase the safety for everyone in the area by closing the roadway.
We stand by the officer’s decision to temporarily close the roadway. The officer’s decision was made on-scene and in real-time while standing out in the cold, pushing vehicles on dangerous slick roads.
It’s unfortunate that city officials feel the need to criticize the decision that was made for public safety as they sit in their warm offices.”
The Walgreens at 90th and Dodge streets was robbed around 9:30 a.m. by a man with a rifle, according to police.
On KMTV Action 3 News at Midday, KMTV’s Kevin Boughton gave a live report showing the poor driving conditions at the intersection.
An officer at the scene, who preferred to remain nameless, spent hours helping drivers who got stuck.
Police stopped responding to non-injury accidents around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday and didn't resume until later that evening.