Omaha Crimestoppers helps solve murders

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Omaha is seeing a staggering surge in homicides in early 2021.

The city of Omaha didn’t witness its first murder until three hours into the new year. Since then, there have been four more murders this month alone.

Compared to January 2020, the murder rate increased by 400% according to the OPD crime statistics.

But Lt. OPD’s Jeremy Christensen says the number doesn’t tell the full story.

“The numbers we had, there were a couple of outliers,” said Lt. Christensen from Homicide. “One of the murders, or should I say two of the murders in January were linked. We arrested the same suspect for both murders, so I’d say this is some kind of anomaly. “

Until today the unit of Lt. Christensen solve four of the five murders in January.

“I’ve used detectives in the Omaha Police Department, especially the Homicide Squad, against every detective unit in the country. We have a great track record, ”said the lieutenant.

It’s obvious if you just compare the data. In 2020, OPD investigators solved 86% of the murders in the city. Nationwide, the approval rate is only 61%.

“But detective skills will only get you so far. You have to have that, some kind of missing piece that is always the help of the community, ”said Christensen. “Witnesses who saw something to do the right thing, and obviously crimestoppers, are helping us with this.”

This year alone, Crimestoppers paid out $ 54,000 for tips that lead to arrests in murders and shootings.

“I don’t see we’re slowing down that fast,” he said.

A month into his new leadership role, the murder lieutenant says the future of the unit in working with Crimestoppers is bright.

“We want people to talk to us. We want the truth. We want people to be proactive. When you’ve seen something, tell us something and contact us. And do justice to the families of the victims, ”he said.

Christensen says they can investigate any incoming tip and call you anonymously, text you, or submit tips online.

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