Omaha Police looking to boost neighborhood watch groups in the metro

Omaha Police are looking to bring back Neighborhood Watch groups across the city.
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 5:25 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Omaha Police Department is working to bring back more neighborhood watch groups in an effort to curb crime.

In a North Omaha neighborhood, Precious McKesson works hard every day to create a sense of safety for herself and her community.

“Everybody wants to live in a safe community, so we’re making sure we’re giving the necessary tools,” McKesson said.

Omaha Police is looking to boost safety with Neighborhood Watch programs.

One of the tools she relies on is communication. She is a part of the North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance.

McKesson constantly works with OPD to support neighborhood watch groups in the area.

“We attend the Omaha 360 meetings and make sure we’re getting updates on what’s going on in the neighborhood,” McKesson said.

Growing up in North Omaha, McKesson saw how watch groups helped calm violence and crime near her house.

“It brings more light to the neighborhoods,” McKesson said.

And now, it’s something OPD is trying to revive.

Lauren Genier, a crime prevention specialist for OPD, believes many neighborhoods lack communication.

“Neighborhood watch has been a part of our police department for many years,” Genier said. “It’s part of an ongoing process, but we’re always looking to add more.”

“Watch groups are really beneficial in helping communities. It gets neighbors talking to each other a lot of times,” Genier said. “I feel like we’ve lost that connection in neighborhoods.”

She adds this will not only help rebuild communities but keep them safe.

“It kind of gives people a forum to get together and talk amongst each other and that in turn reduces crime,” Genier said.

If you’d like to be a part of a watch group, give OPD a call at (402) 444-6144.