OPD Chief Explains Recent Crime Stats

Jake Wasikowski

OPD Chief Explains Recent Crime Stats

CREATED Jul. 11, 2013

Omaha, NE- Omaha's Police Chief Todd Schmaderer, says crime has gone down since taking the job in August of 2012. But Chief Schmaderer admits, recent months have been rough.

Crime has gone down one percent in his 11-months on the job. But violent crimes are up six percent this year.

It's been an active year for the Omaha Police Department. 21 homicides in the first six months of 2013.

“Law enforcement and our response, we're dealing with the symptoms we're dealing with the aftermath of those root causes." Says Chief Schmaderer

Chief Schmaderer says the root causes are poverty, education, and unemployment.

“That's your solution to long term meaningful impact on crime reductions, those are the root causes.”Adds Schmaderer.

And one woman is trying to change that; one teen at a time.

“Something needs to be done, and I think we older people need to really get involved,” says Patricia Barron.

Most people know Patricia Barron as Big Mama. She owns a restaurant and sandwich shop in North Omaha.

Six years ago, she got involved in Step Up, an organization that helps teens find summer employment.

“It gives me a chance to interact with young people that I would never have the opportunity to do,” says Barron. “When they're in my care working along with me that gives me a time to ask them questions and to tell them things to give them a different view point.”

Teens like DaNisha Davis.

"Teenagers now days, they need more help in certain areas, like we have to grow up and take care of ourselves,” says Davis.

But finding those jobs this summer hasn't been easy. State legislation that paid for job creation last summer has run out.

But that's not stopping people like Big Mama from opening up her doors and heart.

“There's something that's missing that I feel that's causing all of the problems,” adds Baron.

Although the number of jobs are down this summer, the Step Up program has created about 520 jobs for teens since 2007.