Omaha Crime Stoppers Says Tippin' Ain't Snitchin'
By: Melina Matthes
OMAHA (kptm) - It was a violent holiday weekend in Omaha. Seven people were shot between Friday night and Sunday morning.
Police are investigating each case but they need your help. They say fewer tips have been coming in. They worry that gang members are intimidating witnesses. Omaha's Crime Stoppers says tipping isn't snitching.
The families of those shot over the weekend want answers and they're hoping someone will come forward. Crime Stoppers says it'll even pay you to give up information and promises to keep your name a secret.
A YouTube video shot in North Omaha is claiming to be what happens to so called "snitches." But after several shootings over the weekend authorities remind witnesses of the importance of coming forward. Officer Michael Pecha says, "put yourself in their shoes, if someone were to take the life of your best friend or your family member and you knew somebody out there had information that could help solve the crime...obviously you'll still be grieving but at least there's some sort of closure."
A way to end the memory of crime scenes, like the ones many saw over the weekend.
"I know it's difficult to go out there and it's hard to just say hey I'm going to go and tell on this guy because it's the unwritten rule so you have to be careful of how you go about that but every time we lose a life, I may lose the person who is able to give me the diagnosis to AIDS, that might be the person who is going to be our next city councilman, that may be a person who would become a great doctor," anti-violence advocate Ronald Parker says.
There is a lot of misinformation out there about snitching, but officials say don't believe the lies you could be hearing. Crime Stoppers say if you have a tip they'll keep you anonymous. You're name, your phone number and even your location. "We don't have caller id, we don't have any way to track a person's phone number or email, so they're safe leaving their information with Crime Stoppers," Officer Pecha says.
He says each tip given to Crime Stoppers is a way for the people to help make the city safer. "They're doing this to improve the city, improve their neighborhood and again to bring closure to the family and friends of a victim of a crime."
Crime Stoppers officials say they don't want to know who you are, they just want to know the information you have. They say each tipster is given a code to use anytime they contact them. Police investigate the tip. If an arrest is made you could receive a reward.
Crime Stoppers officials say there are four different ways to submit a tip. You can call them at 444-STOP. You can go online to OmahaCrimeStoppers.net. You can text them by dialing "crimes" or 274637 then text the letters "O-P-D" and your tip. You can also download the mobile app called "Tip Submit."