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Table 2-1

Ratio of Size of Police Force to Population and Crime in Selected Cities


No. of Offcrs. 1980 Crime Crime Index Force Population Per 1,000 Index Total No. of Offers

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U.S. Department of Justice, Commumity Relations Service; FBI; Bureau The police division is divided into a uniform field bureau, criminal

of the Census.

investigation bureau, technical services bureau, inspectional services bureau,

administrative services bureau and community services bureau.

All are headed

by deputy chiefs except the community services bureau which was headed by a police-community relations coordinator. 10 This position was eliminated in late 1981 and the duties assigned to a deputy chief.11 The three main

operational bureaus --uniform field bureau, criminal investigation bureau and technical services bureau--operate in three shifts.12

The uniform bureau is divided into north and south sectors and each sector is divided into sergeant areas and patrol districts. 13 They split a third

area between them.

The criminal investigation bureau includes a crime against persons

section, a crime against property section and a general administration section each of which is headed by a captain. Under them are lieutenants or sergeants heading units with specific functions such as homicide/assault, robbery/sex,

burglary, auto theft, general administration and regional investigations. The

technical services unit includes a records section headed by a civilian, a detention section and criminalistics section each headed by a lieutenant.14

The community services bureau is divided into a community relations section

that includes a human relations unit, a public information unit, and a program

development unit; and, the youth aid section that includes only the safety

education unit. 15


1. David R. DiMartino, "Omaha Area Demographic Change 1970-1980," Review of

Applied Urban Research, Vol. IX, No. 6; July, 1981.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Omaha Police Manual, Vol. I, Pre. 4-0, p. 2, 25, May 1974 and 39, Dec.


5. Data supplied by the Omaha Police Division, on file at CSRO.

6. Data supplied by Omaha Police Division, on file at CSRO.

7. Omaha World-Herald, Apr. 3, 1981.

8. Bernie Simon, interview in Omaha, Dec. 11, 1981.

9. George Ernce, interview in Omaha, Dec. 10, 1981.

10. Omaha Police Manual, Vol. I, Adm. 2-1, p. 1, March 1977.

11. Omaha Star, Dec. 31, 1981.

12. Omaha Police Manual, Vol. I, Adm. 2-1, p. 1, March 1977.
13. Omaha Police Manual, Vol. I, Adm. 2-2-6, p. 1, (Rev.) Oct. 1976.

14. Omaha Police Manual, Vol. I, Adm. 2-1, p. 1, March 1977.

15. Ibid.



The Advisory Committee chose to review affirmative action efforts by the

police division, both because they are legally mandated and because they are

closely connected to police performance. As mentioned elsewhere in this

study, , many persons interviewed during the course of the review believe that

more minority officers in the police division would improve police-community

relations. Professor Gerald E. Caiden of the University of Southern

California has summarized the argument for greater affirmative action efforts:

The unrepresentative nature of the police profession, its white masculinity, has definitely shaped the nature of policing in the United States and led to the persistence of questionable police styles. Had the police been more representative from early on, they probably would have been less prone to violence and aggressive behavior, more effective in delivering police services, more responsive to communal needs, more humane and understanding, less discriminatory, much closer to the public they serve and much less set in their ways. Patrolwomen, for instance, would have aroused less antagonism, stimulated less fear and provoked less violence.1

The National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals

(NACCJSG), in its review of police standards, put the matter another way:


police a minority community with only white police officers can be

misinterpreted as an attempt to maintain an unpopular status quo rather than

to maintain the civil peace. Clearly the image of an army of occupation is one that the police must avoid.12 The NACCJSG concluded that the way to

correct this is to create a police force which mirrors the ethnic composition of the population it serves. 3

Equal opportunity efforts are also required by Federal, State, and local

regulations. Under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended, discrimination in employment by local governments is prohibited.4 Law enforcement agencies that benefit from Federal general revenue sharing funds

(as the city of Omaha does) are subject to review by the Office of Revenue Sharing to ensure that there is no discrimination in employment. 5

Nebraska's Fair Employment Practices Act provides the possibility of awards of

back pay and reinstatement or hiring to persons who are victims of discrimination in employment.6

Past Recruitment and Selection Efforts

A World-Herald article on recruitment included a chart on utilization for

the period 1972-June 1981 that shows a decline in the number of black officers

from 26 in 1972 to 24 in June 1981 (the number reached a high of 28 in

1980).7 The number of Hispanic officers remained about the same, eight or

nine, throughout the period. An American Indian officer joined the force in

1980. The proportion of black officers was about 4.5 percent of the force

throughout the period. The proportion of Hispanic officers was about 1.5 percent of the force throughout the period. 8 The division's total force ranged from a high of 578 in 1974 to a low of 538 in June 1981.9

The World-Herald reported that for the 1978 recruit class while 45.7

percent of white male applicants were put on the eligible list for appointment

to the division, only 23.4 percent of white women, 11.1 percent of black women

and 7.1 percent of black men applicants were put on the list.

It reported

that as of June 1981 the most recent black male hires occurred in 1974 and

1977 (one each); the most recent Hispanic male hires were in 1969 and 1974 (one each); and the more recent female hires were in 1978 (two). 1


The clip file of the Omaha Public Library shows that in 1964 Monroe Coleman became the first black police captain.11 In 1965 a special ordinance made possible the promotion of a much decorated black officer, Aaron Dailey, to sergeant, over the opposition of the police union and despite a suit filed by the police union to block the promotion. 12

Racial problems in the department led to the resignation in 1967 of 17

black officers from the Omaha Police Union (six other black officers did not

resign). They charged that the union had tolerated discriminatory practices

and had retained as its business representative a State legislator who had

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