The Omaha Police Union says a new Web site will shed the light and educate the public on all aspects of the judicial system, such as so-called "good time laws” and sentencing.
Union officials say everything they're talking about is public information that’s just hard to get. So they're working to get a lot of information together and then put it on a Web site for the public to see.
Union president Sgt. John Wells says the public knows what the police do. They see them in action, on the streets and on television. The Web site will show what happens after they take the bad guys off the street.
“To kind of pull the curtain back if you will to give them a glimpse of how the system really works. One of those components, the good time law, we think there may be some issues with the good time laws and judges should have more discretion, perhaps."
One example is on the police union's Facebook page. In 2005, Wesley Brown was convicted of felony assault, felony possession of a short shotgun, terroristic threats and theft. Brown was sentenced to a minimum of seven years, a maximum of nine. He was released based on Nebraska's good time laws after serving less than five years. In June, he was back in court, sentenced to 180 days in jail for felony strangulation.
Judge Marlon Polk ordered Brown to receive credit for time served for the 101 days he spent in jail awaiting trial. After being sentenced, Brown, a convicted felon, spent 79 days in jail for felony strangulation.
“We don't have any ax to grind with any given person or any judge or anything like that,” said Sgt. Wells. “This is purely information that's there. We think the public would be interested in it. Let’s get it out to the public."
Union leaders hope their Web site will give the public a better understanding of what goes on in the criminal justice system and that people realize it's the police working together with the courts, prosecutors, probation and parole systems that make things work.
Officials hope to have the Web site up and running in 30-60 days.