By Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog
OMAHA — According to the Omaha Police Department’s own numbers—numbers emblazoned on the department’s website—gang crime in Omaha has been skyrocketing: It’s up 120 percent for the first nine months of 2011.
But in an exclusive interview (see video below) withNebraska Watchdog, Police Chief Alex Hayes, discounts those statistics. That’s right Hayes is downplaying numbers compiled by his own department.
Hayes argues that the numbers are based on a recently abolished city ordinance, and while he admits the gang problem isn’t going away he does not believe it’s up 120 percent.
The issue arose during a city organized news conference where officials from the Mayor on down lamented a rash of recent shootings across the city.
City Councilman Ben Gray, who represents the predominately black 2nd district in northeast Omaha, blamed the crime problem in his area on a a small group of individuals who “cause a significant amount of the problem.”