LIBA proposes hiring more officers - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

LIBA proposes hiring more officers

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By: Hannah Paczkowski

Lincoln is growing, 30,000 people in the last 10 years, which means the number of crimes may be going up as well.

"With the addition of the new arena and the business district in the Haymarket, there are larger concerns about the influx of people that will be frequenting that area," officer Chris Milisits said.

Lincoln's Independent Business Association proposes hiring more officers.

Currently, the ratio between officers per thousand citizens is among the lowest in the U.S. at 1.22 officers.

"To return to its 1998 peak strength ratio of 1.39, LPD would need to hire at least 44 additional officers," LIBA president Coby Mach said.

Which could cost the city almost $88,000 per officer.

LIBA doesn't want to see taxes go up to pay for it. It would rather see tax dollars restructured.

Mayor Chris Beutler says Lincoln is fortunate to have crime rates 40% below the national average, but he says it takes more than just police officers to keep it that way.

"Hiring additional Police Officers may be a good idea, but a decision must be based on the community's priorities," he said.

LIBA says in order to take control of the ratio situation, the best offense is a good defense.

"Unless LPD has the officers to diffuse our growing gang problem, it has the potential to escalate," Mach said.


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