Ribbon cutting for new West Omaha Police precinct Tuesday
It’s big, it’s brand new, and the people living out west say it’s much needed.
The Omaha Police Department held its grand opening of the new west precinct Tuesday. According to city officials, the police department now has a record of 902 police officers. More than 100 of those officers will work out of the new precinct located around 209th Street in the Elkhorn area.
The new precinct is 3,500 square feet and costs about $8 million to build.
Police say the addition of the fifth precinct will provide more coverage for residents living in western Omaha and allow for boundaries to be redrawn for the four other precincts.
“The west precinct will cover everything from about 220th Street to all the way to the interstate north and south so that extra cap of coverage allows us to police the city and get to response times much sooner than what we did before,” said Chief Todd Schmaderer, Omaha Police.
According to Chief Schmaderer, there have been many situations where an officer would respond to 180th and Center streets then go all the way to 45th and Woolworth streets, creating a lot of drive time.
City officials say this facility came in $2 million under budget, and police are able to save even more taxpayer dollars by combing a number of operations in one building.
“We have the traffic unit, the emergency response unit, SWAT team, the bomb unit, and the uniform patrol out here all in one location to be able to respond to services throughout the city that allows us to house everything in this one building saves us the money of having three or four separate buildings throughout the city,” said Schmaderer.
There are many people like Colette Meinke who live or work in the Elkhorn area who are excited about having a police station in their backyard.
“I think the West O area [doesn’t] get the coverage they need with police traffic so I think it will be very much appreciated,” said Meinke.
Erin Mumford from West Omaha agrees.
“Like I had an issue one time and it was probably like a 45-50 minute response time so we feel like them being closer, I think that would increase response time greatly,” said Mumford.
City officials say the new precinct will benefit the entire city.
“Because now I think response times will average out to be good all over the entire city so it takes a little load off some of the areas out west before since this is a new precinct. I think it’s good for out here but also good for the entire city,” said Mayor Jean Stothert.