Fighting Crime National Night Out Style
Three Omaha Residents Committed To Curbing Violence Year-Round
Three Omaha Residents Committed To Curbing Violence Year-Round Video by kmtv.comvideo
Omaha, NE -- National Night Out's known as America's night out against crime. Tuesday night was the 29th annual celebration of the event. We've found several people in Omaha who are making it their mission to stop violence in their neighborhoods.
Apostle Vanessa Ward lives near 38th and Fowler in North Omaha. Violence surrounded her home 15-years ago. She knew something had to change when a young man died on her lawn after being shot on her street. Apostle Ward learned isolation is the key to preventing violence. "When we don't connect, when we don't come out, when we don't say good morning, when we don't keep those things alive that negative element will come in an overtake a neighborhood," explained Apostle Ward.
Her solution to curb the crime was to start a yearly block party where she told suspected gang members there would be no drugs, alcohol or violence. She also started the HOPE Garden. "The HOPE Garden is a result of stop pounding the bad news. Quit saying stop the violence and let's celebrate the memory of those we've lost," she said.
Bill Hanes lives near 20th and W in South Omaha. Drive-by shootings are common in his neighborhood. Hanes' mission is to work with more than 40 citizen patrols across the city. Hanes said the teams of unarmed volunteers walk or drive the neighborhood streets looking for anything out of the normal. "We know our neighborhood. We know what's normal and we know what's abnormal, so when we see anything suspicious we call 911," explained Hanes.
Hellen Heller started a close knit neighborhood watch group after a rash of burglaries in Stonecreek Neighborhood near 168th and Fort Street. She works with Douglas County Sheriffs Deputies to educate herself and warn others. Heller said, "When we hear there's a crime it's reported to me and then I send it off to the 40 block captains and they tell the neighbors on their street."
On the 29th evening of fun games for National Night Out, people across the City of Omaha work to make it one of many violence-free nights in Omaha.
There are 40 Omaha neighborhoods working with the Omaha Coalition of Citizen Patrols. To get involved in your neighborhood with them click : http://occp.tripod.com/
Reported By: Liz Dorland, firstname.lastname@example.org