Omaha Police Department gives overview of city crime stats for 2021

Looking back on crime in Omaha in the past year, violent crimes were not at a record high this year, but the Police Department still working to do better.
Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 6:36 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s been an intense year of violence in Omaha, but it hasn’t been the worst.

6 News sat down with Omaha Police Deputy Chief Tom Shaffer to review the city’s crime stats for 2021 and see how it compares with previous years.

Shaffer, who heads Omaha’s criminal investigations bureau, points to progress the city has made.

“When we talk about rape, robbery, aggravated assault and homicide, collectively those numbers are down and that’s something that as an agency we realLy target violent crime reduction,” he said.

Some crime has gotten worse — he said sexual assault and theft are on the rise — but when it comes to homicides, the numbers don’t lie.

“Yes, one homicide is too many; 32 is entirely too many,” he said.

Barring any homicides for the remaining hours of 2021, Omaha’s tally for 2021 is 32 homicides. But compared to last year, that’s five fewer than city saw in 2020.

OPD records all the data on their website. Shaffer said it’s crucial the public knows they can access this information.

A quick check of the site shows homicide records dating back to 2007. The deadliest year recorded here was 48 homicides in 2015; 2018 had the least at 22.

In terms of solving homicides, Shaffer said that’s another area at which the department excels.

“We’re upwards of 80% on clearance rates for homicides, and when you think about that, that’s significant to bring closure to those families,” he said.

On average, OPD fields 733 calls for service each day. That’s a call every two minutes — up 6% from last year.

Shaffer said his department works hard, but he credits the public for the huge part they play in keeping the city safe.

“That’s community involvement, trust in the police, the tireless work the detective do... and it’s working,” he said.

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