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OPD - More security after shooting near pedestrian bridge

Posted: 2:36 PM, May 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-17 02:20:46Z
Bob Kerrey Bridge

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha Police say it's still safe to be in the downtown area at all times of the day and night, but they're putting a few extra measures in place to be safe.

OPD were already re-locating some of their resources in the downtown/riverfront area, and with Thursday morning's shooting, OPD says the Bob Kerrey Bridge will be getting more attention.

"Kind of adjusting our patrol patterns to fit where the people are going and congregating and those kind of things, so obviously the pedestrian bridge is going to be one of those areas,” says Scott Gray, deputy chief with Omaha Police.

Right now, there's some lighting and security cameras around the bridge at night, but some folks say that's not enough.

"I think it's a little more safe to come during the day when there's people walking, riding bikes and jogging,” says Shawn Florez, who takes the bridge almost daily.

"I think there could be more lighting, I would agree with the lighting, as well as more of those emergency stations, those push button ones, I think that would be good,” says pedestrian Sara Henry.

Omaha Police say temporary lighting will be put in place by the start of the College World Series. They're also adding more uniformed and gang-unit officers near the bridge.

Plus, they're putting extra patrols at any spot they feel people will be hanging out at.

"It's mainly a matter of now that we've had some warm days and warm weekends, where are people, especially younger people, going to tend to congregate during the summer months,” says Gray.

Those around the bridge say that gives them some peace of mind.

"I'd feel more safe is there was more patrolling and stuff, more police presence just deters the crimes from happening,” says pedestrian Bryce Harris.

We saw something similar last year after one woman was killed and multiple people were shot in the Old Market. Police added extra patrol there for some time after that shooting.

"The shooting last year occurred around the mall where we were seeing lots of people gather and so we'll just have to adjust and re-allocate the resources that we have to best suit what he public needs,” says Gray.

Last year the city's homicide rate was the lowest in almost 30 years.

This year, they're already down 40 percent from 2018, so OPD hopes these extra efforts keep those trends heading the right direction.