How Would You Rate Omaha Police?

Karissa Thomsen gives the department high marks.

"I think the police here do an excellent job.," Karissa said.

The survey asks about the overall performance of the department, officer competency officers, perception of behaviors and attitudes and to rate overall safety.

It is conducted every three years as part of the department's accreditation process with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

The survey is intended to gauge the attitudes and opinions of the public about their police department.

"I feel the officers are very competent," Karissa continued. "You see them all around so it does make you feel more secure.."

In the Old Market, the police presence is quite visible.

"I do see them around because I actually work at Vivaci, so I'm outside a lot," Stefanie Neuman said. "I see them driving around. I was outside last night and they were walking around at one in the morning."

Neuman and friend Philip Bourne also rated Omaha's Police Department highly.

"We over at Homers last night and there's just homeless people walking around bothering us," Bourne said. "But they did kick one of them out so they did a good job keeping them out of there."

Karissa Thomsen admits there may be some problems with a survey question on perceptions.

"I think that I'm probably a little more sheltered than some of the other residents here in Omaha," she said. "Where someone at 30th and Ames may have a different viewpoint than me living in West Omaha/"

The survey did not play well in North Omaha where the perception of police is quite different.

One common concern? The concept of racial profiling.

Torye Rankins grew up in North Omaha but now lives in West Omaha.

She claims there is a noticeable difference in how people in each area are treated by police.

"I think it's more of a stereotype, because I guess they figure if one person is bad we all have to be bad but that's not true," she said. "Everybody's different and they should respect that and look at people as people and not just the color of their skin and a lot of time they do that."

Jessica Jones agrees that racial profiling happens and would give OPD negative rankings on the scaled survey.

She said officers do well in other parts of the city but for some reason have problems connecting with the people of North Omaha.

"Nine times out of ten they don't do their jobs," she said. "You can call them and it will take them 45 minutes to an hour to get to where you are but there's' a precinct on 30th and Ames. That makes no sense to me."

She added that if the department really cared about what they people of the area think, they'd do a better job of listening and enacting positive change.

"Show us you are interested in what we have to say because if you're not interested in what we have to say what's the point of talking to us?" Jones said.

The surveys can be taken on-line or picked up at any of the city's four police precincts.

There is also a Spanish edition available.

A police spokesperson said the department takes the process seriously and wants to improve areas that affect those they serve.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
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