Violence Intervention and Prevention Collaborative
The Omaha 360 Collaborative is now a nationally recognized violence prevention and intervention model.
The collaborative approach shows what is possible when all sectors of the community work together. Hundreds of organizations and thousands of residents including youth and adults have taken part in the community-based strategy over the years.
Omaha Homicide Rate reaches 20 year low.
KETV News Story.
Working together to end gun and gang violence; develop peaceful and prosperous neighborhoods.
To make Omaha a great, safe city, in every zip code!
- Reduce homicides city-wide and in targeted areas
- Reduce gun violence (gun assaults)
- Reduce youth violence and gang violence
- Provide positive alternatives and activities
- Create stronger relationships between police and the community
- Implement police accountability and justice reform recommendations
5. Recovery and Reentry
6. Support Services
7. Sustainable Funding & Support
Omaha 360 Background and Results
In December 2008, after working for two years as the Empowerment Network’s Violence and Prevention Team, the community effort evolved into what is now referred to as Omaha 360. The collaborative effort brought together residents and stakeholders to bring consistent focus and attention to reducing gun and gang violence in North Omaha and city-wide.
The group realized that in order to be successful, residents, leaders and others from all parts of the city would need to get engaged in the work. The collaborative efforts have had a positive impact, especially during summer months. We have a long way to go, but there’s reason for HOPE.
Omaha Police Department reports show a 74% decrease in gun violence from 2008 to 2018. OPD reported that 2017 and 2019 produced the lowest number of gun assaults in nearly 20 years. The homicide rate was the lowest in nearly 40 years. While homicides have decreased, the clearance rate has increase from a low of 30% to a high of 90%. Community and police are working together to make sure homicides are solved and families receive justice.
The Omaha 360 model has been recognized as a best practice approach by the US Department of Justice. In 2018, Omaha 360 received the national community outreach award at the national Safe Neighborhoods Conference.
While Omaha is making positive strides in reducing gun violence, one life lost to gun violence is one too many. The results over the past fifteen years show that when neighbors and communities work with the police and get involved with the partnership, we see measurable and dramatic results. There is a role for everyone.
Omaha 360 is an initiative of the Empowerment Network in partnership with hundreds of organizations. The Empowerment Network was launched by CEO and Founder Willie Barney in partnership with leaders and residents in 2006. Barney and Vicki Quaites-Ferris, now Vice-President of Community Development for the Empowerment Network served as facilitators for the first 9 years before Jami Kemp and current Director, Ricky Smith were hired to lead the collaborative.
Former City Councilman Ben Gray; former Police Chiefs Thomas Warren and Alex Hayes; former Deputy Chief John Ewing; community specialist Stacy Henry; Teresa Negron, now CEO of YouTurn and others were heavily involved in the launch of Omaha 360, helping to build stronger police community relationships.
The Omaha 360 Violence Prevention Collaborative meets every Wednesday from 2 pm to 3 pm at the Omaha Home for Boys – 52nd and Ames – Wurdeman Conference Center. Between 70-100 participants engage every week to continue the work of preventing and reducing gun violence through the collaborative approach.
Community activists, neighborhood residents, educators, law enforcement, pastors and faith leaders, youth development specialists, CEOs of community-based organizations and other concerned citizens are all doing their part to make Omaha a safer city.
During the pandemic, Omaha 360 transitioned to a virtual meeting and maintained 80-120 participants weekly. The collaborative is now transitioning back to in-person weekly meetings.
Omaha 360 is facilitated by Ricky Smith with support from the Empowerment Network team.
Omaha 360 Reform and Justice Strategies
Building Strong Police Community Relations
In addition to reducing gun violence, in 2014-2015, 10 Reform Recommendations were identified by community members and prioritized during the Empowerment Network’s Omaha 360 Justice Summits in partnership with the OmahaNAACP, Urban League, Malcolm X Foundation and others.
The Omaha Police Department has implemented many of the recommendations, instituted policy changes and significantly increased diversity within the police department. Use of force has been reduced and officer involved shootings have declined sharply from 11 in 2010 to a low of 1 in 2019 and 3 in 2022. Complaints against police have been reduced by 50%.
- Create more venues where police and community can interact consistently
- Diversify Police Force and Criminal Justice System
- Implement police training on Culture/Racial Bias; include more and better bias screening in the hiring process
- Institute police training to address mental health issues/situations
- Expand training for youth (and adults) on how to best engage with police
- Continue to implement and use Body Cameras (standards/penalties)
- Continue to improve & make complaint process more transparent; Hold officers accountable/Accountability
- Monitor and address racial profiling/use of force (officer’s report incident)
- Address disproportionate stops, arrests, sentencing & incarceration
- Independent review/process for officer involved shootings
Omaha 360 Justice Strategies – Next Steps
The Omaha 360 team is working with the community and police department to identify the next 10 Justice Reform and Police Accountability recommendations.
Omaha 360 Model expanding Nationally
Kansas City, Missouri is in the process of launching KC 360 modeled after the Omaha 360 initiative. Representatives from cities including Tulsa, Oklahoma; Chicago, Illinois; Little Rock, Arkansas; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Quad-Cities IA/IL; and Wichita, Kansas have also expressed an interest in the Empowerment Network and Omaha 360 models. More than 20 cities have visited Omaha to learn more about the models and others have started to implement parts of the comprehensive strategy after attending presentations through national conferences.
For More information, please call 402-502-5153 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org