Skip Navigation
City of Omaha - Nebraska

Omaha Police DepartmentOmaha, Nebraska

Text Size   - | +

The first step in combating illegal gang activity is awareness. Citizens armed with knowledge can help prevent gang activity and are better able to avoid being victimized. The following information will answer some questions you may have about gangs and gang activity in the Omaha area and what you can do to help prevent them.

What is a Gang?

A gang is a group of individuals who associate on a continual basis. Not all gangs are bad. However, many gang members are involved in illegal activity. They identify with gang names, colors, gang language or hand signs and a common philosophy.

Why do some youngsters join a gang?

Peer pressure often plays a strong role in one's decision to join a gang. Gangs can offer a feeling of acceptance, protection and, sometimes, money. Money is most often made through the sale or distribution of drugs. Also, poor economic opportunities, high unemployment, a significant high school drop-out rate, and lack of family structure or support can aid the growth of gangs and gang activity.

Does Omaha have a high number of gang members?

There are hundreds of at-risk youth in the Omaha area who are susceptible, and may become vulnerable to the gang lifestyle. At the present time, only a small percent of these at-risk youth are considered to be "hard-core gang members," with many of the extreme hard-core members being adults who may have already served sentences in a penal institution.

Does gang activity affect only the inner city?

Gang activity does not have any territorial or ethnic boundaries. Criminal activity that accompanies some of the gangs can range from a territory as small as a single neighborhood block, to a highly mobile criminal operation that reaches to the coastal states. Gangs may become criminally competitive with each other, and have a need to expand into new territories including suburban areas.

Who are the leaders of the gangs?

Most gangs are small and are formed in neighborhoods by local youth. Often there is no formally recognized leadership in gangs. The oldest, or strongest, youth is usually the leader. Some neighborhood gangs align with one another to become larger and more powerful, forcing other neighborhood gangs to join them or fight them. Often a youth will gain higher status in a gang by committing violent acts.

How do gangs operate?

Most gangs operate in a similar manner. Most gangs identify with a name, color and hand sign, and gang members are given nicknames. Law enforcement officials believe that drug trafficking goes hand-in-hand with gang activity.

Some gangs will mark an area or neighborhood with graffiti to claim the territory for distribution. Often drugs are distributed from a network of well-fortified houses and apartments. In addition to narcotics, some gangs are involved in terrorism, illegal arms and munitions dealings, robberies and burglaries in the Omaha area. Gang members often use intimidation and fear of retaliation to discourage citizens from reporting illegal activity.

Gang members will often wear clothing that identifies a person with a specific gang. For example, one gang may identify with blue, and carry a blue bandanna. Another gang may identify with red and carry a red bandanna. Hispanic gangs identify with dark clothing, generally black. These colors may be reflected in other items of clothing, including baseball caps and shoe laces. Anti-Semitic gangs may wear heavy black boots and military-style clothing.

How do I know if my son or daughter is involved in a gang?

Look for changes in your child's behavior patterns. These changes may include truancy from school or job, a decline in academic performance, a change in his or her group of friends or loyalty to new friends, violation of imposed curfew, graffiti in his or her bedroom, a refusal to wear certain colors and use of gang signs or language.

What can I do if I suspect my son or daughter is involved in a gang?

Communicate with your child. Help him or her build self-esteem. Take an interest in your child's education and school work. Become acquainted with your child's friends and their parents. Help your child find constructive alternatives to gang involvement. These include positive family activities, sports or athletic programs, extracurricular activities and summer or after-school employment or volunteer work.



News and Information

  • Miller Park Homicide Arrests

    2015-07-08 16:02:18

      Homicide at 24th and Redick RB# AH01689         Update 7-8-15:The foll ...

  • Kindergarten Traffic Safety Training

    2015-07-07 18:56:23

    Information about Kindergarten Traffic Safety Training is available on the flyer below.  

  • Kerrie On Merchandise

    2015-07-07 18:23:54

    Shirts, and other Officer Orozco merchandise is available at the following link. The access code is Kerrie.     http://corporate ...

  • 2015 National Night Out

    2015-07-06 14:57:26

      Link to 2015 National Night Out Registration

  • Thank you from Kerrie Orozco's family

    2015-06-12 18:12:13

    From Hector Orozco: I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks to everyone for all of their support during this very difficult ti ...

  • Update: Officer Killed in the Line of Duty

    2015-05-20 21:09:08

    Information about the Fatal shooting of an Omaha Police Officer is at the following link.Press Release for Officer Killed in the Line of Dut ...

  • YOUTH Citizen's Education Training Program

    2015-05-19 19:06:13

    The Omaha Police Department's Northeast Precinct is hosting a Youth Citizen's Education Training Program. This four night mini-academy is sp ...

  • Nebraska Office of Highway Safety Ford Driving Skills E ...

    2015-05-05 18:25:10

    The Nebraska Office of Highway Safety is looking for teens (16 - 18) who want to participate in the Ford Driving Skills for Life event. Ford ...

  • Omaha Police Foundation's New Web Site

    2015-04-30 15:40:25

    The Omaha Police Foundation has a new web site at In partnership with the Omaha Police Department, the O ...

  • Community Awareness- Audi Auto Thefts

    2015-04-15 23:04:18

    The Auto Theft unit is currently investigating thefts of multiple Audis throughout the Omaha area.  It is believed that thieves are bre ...

  • The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett shows support for p ...

    2015-04-06 19:08:06

    Warren Buffett has joined the movement to bring back public support for law enforcement! Warren recently had his picture taken by a member o ...

  • Are you ready to Answer the Call?

    2015-03-31 23:28:10

    Click here to watch the video The Omaha Police Department is scheduled to begin accepting applications in the Fall of 2015. Stay tuned to t ...

  • #supportblue Campaign

    2015-03-31 20:12:35

    The First Responders Foundation has launched a new campaign designed to encourage community support for police officers. The Support Blue ca ...

  • BPOA Easter Egg Hunt

    2015-03-15 17:21:35

    The Black Police Officers Association and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated are hosting the 3rd Annual BPOA and Kappa Alpha Psi Easter ...

  • OPD announces the retirement of two of their Explosive ...

    2015-02-12 16:24:47

    Ffred and Rogue are two of the dogs who are employed by the Omaha Police Department to work at Eppley Airfield in the detection of explosive ...

  • Anti-Bullying Message

    2015-01-31 18:56:56

        Teach your kids that bullying is wrong. Teach your kids that bullying hurts. Teach your kids that bullying destroy ...

  • Citizens Education Training Program

    2015-01-28 17:46:01

    The Southeast Precinct and the Northwest Precinct will be holding classes during March and April. There is no charge for the classes but you ...

  • Pop With A Cop NW/NE Precinct

    2015-01-27 15:44:29

    In order to give citizens who work mornings a chance to interact with officers, The Omaha Police Department is expanding on the Coffee with ...

  • Coffee with a Cop

    2014-11-17 15:18:04

    The Omaha Police Department is hosting another national Community Outreach summit.  This summit brings together officers from 50 states ...

  • Cops and Bobbers

    2014-10-20 09:16:00

    The annual Cops and Bobbers event was held Oct. 19th, 2014.   See this great article in the Omaha World Herald, Cops and Bobbers Even ...

  • Nebraska Family Helpline

    2014-07-10 09:17:44

    The Nebraska Family Helpline provides a single point of contact, 24/7, for families concerned about a youth experiencing mental or behavio ...