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A Letter to the Community:
12 homicides in 34 days, 10 people shot in four hours. But this is not a story about statistics. This is a story about the people who died, the families affected and our determination and commitment to find the killers. This is a call to action. The Omaha Police Department will not stand for this level of violence. Neither should you.
Saturday morning, 19-year-old Jakela Foster, 24-year-old Latecia Fox and 26-year-old Cameron Harris were at a house party at 3402 Parker when they were shot and killed. Five other people were hit and will recover. The families want and deserve answers.
This violence is a product of gangs with no regard for human life. The blame lies directly on the shooters and we believe we are looking for multiple suspects. Up to fifty people were at the house on Parker Street. Fifty people who could have information that could help detectives identify the shooters.
We are still waiting for most of those witnesses to contact us. Someone knows what happened. For the sake of our community, we need you to reach out to us.
If you are afraid, the Omaha Police Department can protect you. You can use Crime Stoppers to provide tips anonymously. We don’t even want your name. Your information is so important, Crime Stoppers will pay you $25,000 for a tip that leads to an arrest in a homicide case; $10,000 for a shooting. There are many ways to contact Crime Stoppers, 402-444-STOP (7867) or text “OPD & your tip” to “CRIMES” (274637). You can find information about how it works at omahacrimestoppers.org.
The gun violence we are experiencing right now follows a year of great progress. We recorded 34 homicides in Omaha, a significant reduction from previous years. We have an 80% clearance rate. These are the community’s numbers. Many cases have been solved because witnesses came forward. When we work together, we are successful.
Public safety is our number one priority and responsibility. In 2014, we hired more police officers. We will have another recruit class this year, and another in 2016. But it will take more. It takes all of us, police, elected officials, individuals, parents, community groups, faith leaders, schools, and our entire community to make every neighborhood in our city safe.
We are proud of north Omaha’s history and heritage and optimistic about the future. Many exciting projects are underway to build up neighborhoods and businesses, provide jobs, training, education and family support services. We will not let violent crime deter our progress.
Since December 21st, we have lost 12 people to gun violence in Omaha. We have made arrests in seven of these cases. If you have information about the homicides at 3402 Parker or any unsolved case, do the right thing, answer our call to action. Call Crime Stoppers or the Omaha Police Homicide Unit at 402-444-5656.
Mayor Jean Stothert
Police Chief Todd Schmaderer