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The police division is divided into a uniform field bureau, criminal 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.
The three main
operational bureaus --uniform field bureau, criminal investigation bureau and
technical services bureau--operate in three shifts.
The uni form 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.
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
1. David R. DiMartino, "Omaha Area Demographic Change 1970-1980," Review of
Applied Urban Research, Vol. IX, No. 6; July, 1981.
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.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYMENT EFFORTS OF THE OMAHA POLICE DIVISION
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-commmity
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."2 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 ( pay and reinstatement or hiring to persons who are victims of crimination in employment. 6
: Recruitment and Selection Efforts
A World-Herald article on recruitment included a chart on utilization for
period 1972-June 1981 that shows a decline in the number of black officers
i 26 in 1972 to 24 in June 1981 (the number reached a high of 28 in )).7 The number of Hispanic officers remained about the same, eight or
·, throughout the period. An American Indian officer joined the force in
). The proportion of black officers was about 4.5 percent of the force sughout the period. The proportion of Hispanic officers was about 1.5 ent of the force throughout the period. 8 The division's total force ied 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
ent of white male applicants were put on the eligible list for appointment
che division, only 23.4 percent of white women, 11.1 percent of black women
7.1 percent of black men applicants were put on the list.
as of June 1981 the most recent black male hires occurred in 1974 and
(one each); the most recent Hispanic male hires were in 1969 and 1974 each); and the more recent female hires were in 1978 (two). 10
The clip file of the Omaha Public Library shows that in 1964 Monroe nan became the first black police captain. 11 In 1965 a special
iance 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.
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
opposed a fair housing law. But they also complained that the union had done nothing to end discriminatory practices by the department that had resulted in
the absence of black officers from either the identification bureau or the
vice squad and the failure to send most black officers to out-of-town police
schools or seminars. One of the black officers alleged that:
"If there is a
call about a disturbance or a man with a gun on the Near North Side, they will
send one Negro officer.
If none is available, they send two or three white
Both the police chief and the city's human relations director stated that they had received no formal complaints on those issues. 14
The city's first affirmative action plan was approved in 1975 and a
revised affirmative action plan was approved by Mayor Al Veys, Aug. 8, 1979.15 This plan called for an increase in minority hiring in protective
service occupations (which include police and fire department entry level workers) of 0.9 percent per year and an increase in female hiring of 1.7 percent per year for five years. 16 Even allowing for the inclusion of the fire department, this is considerably less than the city subsequently agreed to in a consent decree. The city is currently revising its affirmative action policy. The city personnel director, Gary Troutman, believes that if the city
had been more alert and conscious of affirmative action in the past, it is
possible legal actions by black officers and the Department of Justice could
have been avoided. 17
In July 1979 the black police organization, the Brotherhood of Midwest
Guardians, filed suit alleging racial discrimination in employment by the
city. That suit ultimately was supported by the U.S. Department of Justice
and resulted in a consent decree that provided for a dramatic increase in the
proportion of black officers over a period of years. The decree provides
that, subject to the availability of qualified applicants, the city of Omaha
must achieve a long term goal of hiring a sufficient number of black sworn