CREATED Apr. 24, 2013
Omaha, NE - Each number shown in the Omaha 360 slide show represents a life taken in the Omaha community. Member Willie Barney knows the progress is good but they've got to keep moving forward.
"We're not where we want to be. We'd love to be able to present some time at this point and have zero on the screen, anybody hear me in here?! That's really the goal; we want to be at zero."
Every number, they say, is one too many.
"Crime has significantly decreased", adds Barney.
For the first time ever this year community members, organizations and law enforcement were able to see the progress they've made.
"I've never seen such momentum and collaboration."
Omaha 360 and the police department released crime stats for the first quarter of 2013. The impact is solid.
"It's good to hear good news."
5 murders through March, compared to 9 this time last year. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer says the accomplishments are wonderful.
"We're very proud of this work."
Since 2008 gun assaults and homicides city wide have gone down. It's thanks to the hard work and group effort of thousands of people in Omaha. Compassion and Action Inc. Founder Teela Mickles can't believe how far they've come.
"Being a part of the community and being the collaboration that's been working so diligently to bring these numbers down and many of us have been personally affected by violence, and so we're really excited that it is working. It's taking time, but it's working."
Programs like Pledge for Peace, Adopt A Block, Step-Up Omaha and after school jobs and activities are cutting down crime tape in Omaha.
"And we're gonna make a difference, we've made a difference. We're gonna make a bigger difference because we have to give our children a future that is safe", adds Mickles.
It isn't just community groups. Help also comes from Omaha's faith leaders. Associate Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church Kevin McDonald knows their part to helping is crucial.
"The faith based organizations helping law enforcement, government and then involve everyone else. But the church is key because there's a church on every block."