The recent rash of violence on Omaha streets has brought the need for more vigilance and cooperation from everyday citizens.
Police say they are the "eyes and ears" of the community. They're the ones on the scene before law enforcement arrives and who can give valuable information and possibly leads to police.
Officer Jake Bettin, PIO for the Omaha Police Department says,
"They can relay information. Typically a suspect vehicle, license plate information, suspect's last direction of travel, things like that so officers who are arriving in the area can coordinate and approach the area from whatever direction the suspects were last seen heading. That way we can cut them off before they get out of the area."
The recent shooting last week at 24th and Reddick streets proves that citizens are trying to keep their neighborhoods safer and are acting if they see suspicious activity. Police say their 911 call center was flooded with calls after the incident.
Barb Zacharia, an Omaha resident, told Channel 6, she's ready to help too. "Well, if I saw something that didn't look right, and somebody pounding on the door or walking around the back, I suppose just as a safety measure, I'd call 9-1-1."
Barb, like so many other Omaha residents just want the violence to stop. Many are joining neighborhood watch groups or volunteering for the Omaha Police Department's "COPS" or Citizens Of Omaha Police program. Within it, citizens can actually volunteer in the homicide unit, the crime lab or other areas of law enforcement.
For more information on the program: Click here