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How Omaha Could Become a Model For Gun Violence Around the Country

More than 6,000 people have been fatally shot in the U.S. so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

While many lawmakers debate various solutions -- restrictions on firearms, increased mental health funding, investment for youth -- ABC News recently talked to community leaders in Omaha, Nebraska, where officials have seen a steady drop in reported gun violence over the past 15 years.

Police and advocates attribute some of that to Omaha 360 -- an initiative started in 2009 by the Empowerment Network that involves nonprofits, neighborhood associations, churches and local law enforcement.

"It really did help to build a lot of trust between the police and the community and just amongst these various organizations," Scott Gray, the deputy chief of the Omaha Police Department, told ABC News. "Empowerment Network is the hub, because it kind of pulls together all of these different organizations that by themselves tend to not stay connected and more effective."

The number of reported shooting victims in Omaha, which only includes people who survived, dropped from 246 in 2009 to 121 in 2022, with the lowest at 90 victims in 2017, according to data from the Omaha Police Department.

Citywide shooting incidents involving an individual or group in that same time dropped from 191 to 90, with the lowest at 77 incidents in 2018. (One incident can include multiple victims.) And homicide clearance rates were at 87% in 2022. The Omaha Police Department follows the FBI's definition of a cleared case, which is by arrest or by exceptional means, like the death of a known suspect.

Overall homicides in Omaha have also gone down over the last 15 years, according to police department data. Those statistics, which do not delineate different types of homicides, show that average annual homicides fell from about 38 from 2007-2012 to about 28 from 2017-2022.

Read the Full Story Here.

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