Getting Guns Off Our Streets

It is the top priority of Omaha Police, getting guns off our streets.

They're finding the weapons through traffic stops, search warrants and on disturbance and narcotics calls.

An example, Tuesday night, an officer pulled over a vehicle for not having license plates and spotted a gun inside.

It turns out, it was a BB gun but the back-seat passenger is a suspect in three recent robberies.

Abdi Yarow faces robbery and weapons charges.

That's just one example of a staggering number of guns Omaha Police seized last year.

"We know who our bad guys are in this community," Omaha Police Captain Kerry Neumann said. "It's just a matter of time until we get to them."

And a lot of those "bad guys" have guns.

Antonio McNichols faces 1st degree murder charges after being arrested during a traffic stop.

Ran'dell Busch, who already served two stints in jail on weapons charges, was caught during another traffic stop with a sawed off shotgun.

Last year alone, Omaha Police officers took a whopping 843 guns off our streets city wide.

"It's hard to put a finger on it why there are so many guns out here," Captain Neumann said.

Regardless of how guns got on our streets, Captain Neumann of the Northeast Precinct said it's his officers goal to find them.

He said traffic stops can be extremely dangerous for officers but the results are worth it.

"Every traffic stop that happens the officer goes into an unknown situation," he said. "They don't know who they are stopping at the time. Traffic stops do result in the recovery of fire arms."

And when suspects run, discarded guns can be found along the way.

Sometimes those guns are in very young hands.

Wednesday morning police responded to a disturbance call near 37th and Ames Ave. where they took a gun off a suspect who ran from the scene. The gun was in the hand of a 14-year-old boy.

Technology is helping in the battle against guns on our streets.

A shot spotter located a gun shot Tuesday near 24th and Fowler. An arrest was made and a 20 gauge shotgun confiscated.

The Douglas County Attorney's office assigns three prosecutors to deal with gang, narcotic and gun cases.

Captain Neumann said it's a step in the right direction to get more guns off our streets by allowing him direct communication with prosecutors when repeat offenders or known gang members are involved.

"We've seen improvement with that," he said.

Omaha Police have also started a gun bounty program.

Information leading to an arrest for a firearms charge pays $500 and all information is confidential.

For more, contact Omaha Police at 444-7867.


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