Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert says community policing and more officers on the streets are making a difference in the city.
Stothert gave her annual State of the City address Friday. Omaha saw an overall 14 percent decrease in crime in 2015. But there were 50 homicides, the highest number since 2008, when there were 44.
Stothert says she has a three year plan for public safety, and current efforts are making a difference.
"Chief Schmaderer has reorganized the Detective Bureau. These officers are now experts in one particular property crime category, such as car theft. This change makes sense, and it makes a difference. Car thefts are down 19 percent. We also have had great success working with our federal partners on large operations that target guns, and gangs, and drugs."
The latest Omaha Police recruit class will graduate soon, with 51 new officers on the streets next month. This year, the Omaha Police Department will expand its gang prevention specialist program. 24 firefighter recruits are preparing to join the Omaha Fire Department as well.
Stothert also highlighted job growth in Omaha and new initiatives, such as REACH and the Small and Emerging Business Program. The Nebraska Department of Labor says the Omaha metro area’s unemployment rate in December was 3 percent.