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is "maintaining an orderly city." He said that "every attempt is made to get

people to like the way we do it." He remarked that it is difficult to know

how many of the problems with police community-relations are perceived and how many are real. However, the acting chief said if police-community relations are perceived as bad then there is still a serious problem in the area. said that in Omaha "there is a feeling--a perception that police officers are insensitive to minorities.147 Bernie Simon, president of the Omaha city

He

council, said that while he believes some improvement could be made in

police-community relations, he does not believe the situation is as bad as

48 some people think. Omaha Mayor Mike Boyle told staff that on police-community relations, 'we have a long way to go" but he believes improvement is being made.

49

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Notes

1. Omaha World-Herald, Oct. 1, 1965.

2. Sun, Dec. 9, 1965.

3. Ibid.

4. Sun, July 7, 1966.

5. Omaha World-Herald, Mar. 9, 1968.

6. Omaha World-Herald, Mar. 27, 1968.

7. Omaha World-Herald, July 9, 1968.

8. Sun, Sept. 4, 1969.

9. Omaha World-Herald, Aug. 20, 1969.

10. Omaha World-Herald, Jan. 30, 1970.

11. Omaha World-Herald, Aug. nd, 1970.

12. Sum, Nov. 26, 1970.

13. League of Women Voters, A Study of Police-Community Relations in Omaha,

Publication No. 71-1, 1970.

14. Omaha World-Herald, June 8, 1974.

15. Mayor's Task Force on Police-Community Relations, The First Report and

Recommendations of the Mayor's Task Force on Police-Community Relations, p. 1,

Feb. 20, 1975.

16. Omaha World-Herald, Jan. 14, 1980.

17. Omaha World-Herald, Feb. 10, 1980.

18. Omaha World-Herald, Oct. 24, 1980.

19. Omaha World-Herald, Nov. 6, 1980.

20. Omaha World-Herald, Nov. 12, 1980.

21. Ibid.

22. Wilda Stephenson, telephone interview, Nov. 17, 1981.

23. Robert Broom, interview in Omaha, Sept. 24, 1981.

24. Joe Ramirez, interview in Omaha, Sept. 24, 1981.

25. I.C. Plaza, interview in Omaha, Sept. 24, 1981.

26. Francis Smith and others, interview in Omaha, Aug. 27, 1981.

27. Bernice Dodd, interview in Omaha, Sept. 24, 1981.

28. James Hart, interview in Omaha, Aug. 27, 1981.

29. Sonny Foster, interview in Omaha, Aug. 28, 1981.

30. George Garnett, interview in Omaha, Aug. 28, 1981.

31. Marvin McClarty, interview in Omaha, Sept. 23, 1981.

32. Luke Nichols, interview in Omaha, Aug. 27, 1981.

33. Sonny Foster, interview in Omaha, Aug. 26, 1981.

34. Wayne Tyndall, telephone interview, Nov. 5, 1981.

35. Rita Garcia, telephone interview, Nov. 10, 1981.

36. I.C. Plaza, interview in Omaha, Sept. 24, 1981.

37. Joe Ramirez, interview in Omaha, Sept. 24, 1981.

38. Debbie Brockman, interview in Omaha, Aug. 26, 1981.

39. Carl Christian, interview in Omaha, Aug. 28, 1981.

40. Elbert Ross, interview in Omaha, Sept. 24, 1981.

41. George Garnett, interview in Omaha, Aug. 28, 1981.
42. James Hart, interview in Omaha, Aug. 27, 1981; and Debbie Brockman,

interview in Omaha, Aug. 26, 1981.

43. Dorothy Galloway, interview in Omaha, Aug. 27, 1981; Luke Nichols,

interview in Omaha, Aug. 27, 1981; George Garnett, interview in Omaha,

Aug. 28, 1981; Jerry Elrod, interview in Omaha, Sept. 23, 1981; Joseph Forbes,

interview in Omaha, Sept. 23, 1981; Sonny Foster, interview in Omaha, Aug. 8,

1981.

44. George Garnett, interview in Omaha, Aug. 8, 1981; Marvin McClarty,

interview in Omaha, Sept. 23, 1981; Alvin Goodwin, Jr., telephone interview,

Nov. 5, 1981; Marvin McClarty, Robert Dacus, James Patterson, interview in

Omaha, Dec. 8, 1981.

54

45. Robert Broom, interview in Omaha, Sept. 24, 1981.

46. Alvin Goodwin, Jr., telephone interview, Nov. 5, 1981 and Mary Jane

Harvey, telephone interview, Nov. 13, 1981.

47. Jack Swanson, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

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

49. Mike Boyle, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

CHAPTER 6

POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS

History of Police-Community Relations

In February 1966 the city began discussions about a new position within

the police division--police-community relations coordinator--to head a community services bureau. 1

In March 1966 the city council approved the

proposal but not without opposition, one council member maintaining the position was not needed and that "The lines of communication are open."2

The first coordinator was appointed a month later and was put in charge of

recruit and in-service training as well as development of a police-community

3 relations program.

This was not the first time the issue of police-community relations was

addressed by the police division, however.

In 1956 then Police Chief Harry

Green stated he would ask the police commissioner and mayor to appoint a

"citizen's police committee" which he proposed should meet monthly to "study

all phases of police-community relations." The plan included representation

of minority groups on a body which would promote clear relations between the police division and the public.4 No further reports of the "citizen's

police committee" were found in the city library's newspaper files. In 1964 the files show that a Police Advisory Board, reported as recently established, held hearings on an allegation of police abuse. This group, however, was composed entirely of police officers. 5 In November 1965 the Sum newspaper

reported on a series of meetings on the South, East and Near North sides of

Omaha at which the police division sought to establish a dialogue with the

Community. After relatively peaceful meetings on the South and East sides,

police officials reported they had not anticipated the wide ranging criticism

6 they heard from the black community.

In March 1967 Inspector Al Pattavina was assigned the job of

police-community relations coordinator. At that time the purpose of the

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