In August 1887 Webber Seavey became Omaha's first police chief. This week, Todd Schmaderer became Omaha's 32nd police chief. Channel 6 News sat down with him Friday afternoon to talk about crime, his plans and how long he plans to stay.
It's been a whirlwind couple of days for the new police chief and he is excited to get his message out and to begin his work. Since Wednesday's oath of office, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer has been making himself available so that the public can begin to get to know him.
Among the many questions the public has been asking, what about all the shootings? “A good portion of our violent crime is targeted offenders and targeted victims. These are not random targets where someone innocent is being shot at. We believe that most of them have some connection or affiliation with gang ties."
How will the new chief define success? “Each neighborhood will have a different barometer of success. If we have a high number of a certain type of crime in one neighborhood, we set a plan and make that barometer inclusive with the community as well."
Are there enough police officers in Omaha? “You're asking the police chief if I could use some more officers. Sure, but we understand and don't complain about staffing. We're going to make the most effective use of what we do have."
With three police chiefs in four years, the mayor wanted stability. Chief Schmaderer doesn't reach his full pension for eight years. Does that mean he’s going to be here for the next eight years if it is his choice? “You make a good point. It has to be mutual. The community has to want me and I have to be viable."
The new chief, who had strong support of the rank-and-file officers, believes there is community support and a shared responsibility to reduce crime and improve the quality of life and that the police can galvanize that.