Crime In Omaha
Crime in Omaha, Nebraska has varied widely, ranging from Omaha's early years as a frontier town with typically widespread gambling and prostitution, to civic expectation of higher standards as the city grew, and contemporary concerns about violent crimes related to gangs and dysfunctions of persistent unemployment, poverty and lack of education among some residents.
As a major industrial city into the mid-20th century, Omaha shared in social tensions of larger cities that accompanied rapid growth and many new immigrants and migrants. By mid-century Omaha was a center for illicit betting, while experiencing dramatic job losses and unemployment because of dramatic restructuring of the railroads and the meatpacking industry, as well as other sectors. Persistent poverty resulting from discrimination and job loss generated different crimes in the late 20th century, with drug trade and drug abuse becoming associated with violent crime rates, which climbed after 1986 as Los Angeles gangs made affiliates in the city. With the nationally famous kidnapping of Edward Cudahy, Jr. in 1900 and the subsequent acquittal of the accused kidnapper, Pat Crowe, The Washington Post wrote, "Omaha is evidently a happy hunting ground for savages and malefactors."
Since the 1990s crime has been reduced for the city overall. According to crime statistics released by the FBI, Omaha's rate of violent crimes per 100,000 residents has been lower than the average rates of three dozen cities of similar size. Omaha's rate of violent crime was 601.1 in 2005, compared to 995.6 for cities with populations from 250,000 to 500,000. Unlike Omaha, violent crime overall for those cities has trended upward since 2003. Rates for property crime have decreased for both Omaha and its peer cities during the same time period. In 2006 Omaha was ranked for homicides as 46th out of the 72 cities in the United States of more than 250,000 in population, making it quite a safe city for most inhabitants.
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