| 1) Dramatically increase Omaha’s partnerships with the FBI, other federal agencies and the local federal prosecutor by tapping their ability to more effectively use racketeering laws, such as RICO—the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act. This allows for arresting and convicting those involved in an organized pattern of crime—not just those who may have pulled the trigger.
RICO allows prosecutors to charge multiple members of a gang simultaneously with the crimes of their colleagues, simply because of their connection to the gang. Because of the inter-state nature of many of these gangs, they can be charged and tried in federal court, which offers tough sentences and, unlike state courts, no parole.
“Anti-racketeering laws are being successfully used in other cities in America,” he said. “Omaha’s violent crime problem has reached the point where this makes sense here.
“We need to send a message to those who knowingly organize criminal activity that Omaha is a RICO city – a city without any sympathy for violent crime. We need to let these criminals know that if you are caught organizing or being involved as part of a related activity, you will go to jail for a long, long time.”
| 2) Create the position of Hometown Security Commissioner.
This person will be an expert on fighting gangs whose goal will be to eliminate gang-related violence in Omaha. He or she will report to the Chief of Police, and will have Deputy Chief status and an expanded gang unit under his or her command.
The Commissioner would also be responsible for coordinating efforts with the FBI, federal prosecutors, the State Patrol and the sheriffs of Douglas County and the surrounding counties.
“This will be a focused management coordination effort, unfettered by other duties and responsibilities,” Daub said. “It will include developing citizen and community partnerships – utilizing citizen participation and promotional activities involving parents, educators and clergy – to create a massive team effort aimed at becoming one of America’s safest big cities.”
| 3) Pursuing state legislation for RICO-like flexibility at the local level, so local law enforcement can join federal agents in infiltrating and prosecuting these violent gangsters and murderers.
“The legislative package that has been proposed by State Sen. Brad Ashford is a giant step in this direction,” he said. “I fully support all of its key provisions, and I call upon the mayor and the City Council to get behind this legislation in the upcoming session of the Unicameral, as well as toughen minimum mandatory sentences.”
| 4) Budget city funds to help the cause of the Building Bright Futures initiative, with a focus on truancy enforcement and after-school programs, possibly as an extension of the popular Sun Dawgs program.
| 5) Employ the very successful “Broken Windows” approach to target all crime, large and small.
“The best example of this for us will be a zero-tolerance policy on graffiti,” Daub said. “Also, I will appoint a Mayor’s Crime and Traffic Advisory Committee to act as a source of neighborhood input to the law enforcement community.”
| 6) Work with the police collective bargaining leadership to find a way to retain more veteran police officers in order to utilize their experience in defeating gangs, and find ways to bring back some retired officers to fill key crime-fighting positions.
| 7) Get more uniformed police officers out from behind desks and out on the street by filling those administrative duties with civilian employees.
Daub said finding a solution to violent crime is a leadership issue.
“In my previous two terms as Mayor, I’ve hired police chiefs, managed public safety issues, and developed innovative ideas – from the summer Sun Dawgs Program, now in its fourteenth year, to initiating the Offender-to-Work program that put jailed offenders to work on the city’s needs, to the effective helicopter air surveillance unit and establishing the Omaha Police Department’s first national accreditation.
“I will take every legal means available to accomplish this task and make Omaha safe for every resident in every neighborhood.”