Crime Rates Debated In Mayoral Race

With less than three weeks remaining until election day challenger Jean Stothert is challenging Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle's record on crime.

Stothert opened a news conference Monday by playing a comment that Mayor Suttle made during a forum last week. "I don't know where my opponent is getting her statistics, I would ask her to please verify those in writing for all of us and do it publicly," Suttle can be heard saying on the recording.

Stothert did present numbers at her news conference that challenge the Mayor's claim that crime has been "flat". Stothert says the statistics she presented show that crime is up and has been on the rise since Suttle took office.

"What really concerns me is the Mayor is now denying it, he's saying we are flat lined, we are a safe city, that crime is basically controlled and he's ok with the status quo, that concerns me," said Stothert.

The Suttle camp responded through a spokesperson who says the mayor has a plan to fight crime and it's working.

"You can't cherry pick the numbers and pick out what you like and then put a chart together. You have to look at the whole thing to be truthful and honest about what the picture is really like," said Aida Amoura.

Checking our Channel Six News records, there were 43 homicides in Omaha the year before Mayor Suttle took office in 2008. In 2009 that number dropped to 32 but increased to 33 in 2010, 37 in 2011 and 40 last year.

Stothert says Omaha needs more officers on the streets. The mayor's office counters by asking how Stothert plans to do that while cutting taxes.

The election is May 14th.

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