Crime Rate in Omaha When Compared to Other Cities

Crime Rate in Omaha When Compared to Other Cities.

Writing Assignment – Research Methods – CJ Department – SHSU Instructions Below are the instructions for your writing assignment. Follow the instructions below in that this is an exercise – purposed to teach you the components of a research paper. Generally, research begins with a question and for this exercise, you are provided the question that you are seeking to answer in the below scenario. Research papers follow a general outline – if the outlines are the same for all researchers, then readers can decide what part of your paper they want to read to save time (usually the abstract). We need to understand that readers have limited time and by following the same outline you make it easier for others to navigate your paper. Perhaps they may want to read only your abstract (condensed details of your research paper contents) to determine if the contents of your paper are applicable to their own research project. This should explain why you need to have an abstract.

Introduction Instructions 1. Here is the problem you are seeking an answer for. You are the Chief of Police in the City of Omaha, Nebraska with a population of 446,000. You are wanting to know if your department (your leadership) is having an adequate effect on the crime rate when compared to other cities of similar population. Perhaps if you find a city which has had a greater effect on the crime rate, you can explore to see what they are doing differently as they target crime in their city. a. You are interested in the rate of crime for the following crimes: murder, theft, aggravated assault, robbery, rape, auto theft, and burglary – plus the total of all crimes. b. for the years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 a period of five years. c. You are interested in comparing the City of Omaha to 5 other cities of similar population to see if there is any difference between the rates of the different crimes over time. You will need to find cities of similar size and reporting their rate of crime at FBI UCR at the following link (you may have to explore). d. This is your table (started below) with the crime data, the years and the cities (you pick) and the rate of change each year. Use the below tables – insert them in your paper. City Year Robbery Murder Agg Assault Rape Auto Theft Burglary Theft Total All Part 1. Crimes Omaha City 2013 2014 Rate of Change 2015 Rate of Change 2016 Rate of Change 2017 Rate of Change City Year Robbery Murder Agg Assault Rape Auto Theft Burglary Theft Total All Part 1. Crimes City #2 2013 2014 Rate of Change 2015 Rate of Change 2016 Rate of Change 2017 Rate of Change City Year Robbery Murder Agg Assault Rape Auto Theft Burglary Theft Total All Part 1. Crimes City #3 2013 2014 Rate of Change 2015 Rate of Change 2016 Rate of Change 2017 Rate of Change City Year Robbery Murder Agg Assault Rape Auto Theft Burglary Theft Total All Part 1. Crimes City #4 2013 2014 Rate of Change 2015 Rate of Change 2016 Rate of Change 2017 Rate of Change City Year Robbery Murder Agg Assault Rape Auto Theft Burglary Theft Total All Part 1. Crimes City #5 2013 2014 Rate of Change 2015 Rate of Change 2016 Rate of Change 2017 Rate of Change To calculate the percentage increase (rate of change): First: work out the difference (increase) between the two numbers you are comparing. Increase = New Number – Original Number Then: divide the increase by the original number and multiply the answer by 100. % increase = Increase ÷ Original Number × 100. If your answer is a negative number then this is a percentage decrease. To calculate percentage decrease: First: work out the difference (decrease) between the two numbers you are comparing. To calculate the percentage decrease (rate of change): Decrease = Original Number – New Number Then: divide the decrease by the original number and multiply the answer by 100. % Decrease = Decrease ÷ Original Number × 100 If your answer is a negative number then this is a percentage increase. Read more at: If you cannot do the math – the above web page has a place where you can input the values and they are calculated for you. Example: The 2014 number of robberies in Omaha is 455 The 2015 number of robberies in Omaha is 532 ((532 – 455) divided by 455) times 100 = x or ((532-455)/455) * 100 = x (77 divided by 455) times 100 = x .1692 times 100 = x X = 16.92% You had a 17% increase in robberies between year 2014 and 2015 If we reverse the values for the years 2014 and 2015, crime would had decreased, you would be reporting a -17%. For this assignment we are looking for the decreases. Literature Review Section You will need to write a literature review. This section of your paper contains discussion of the research of others who have also researched crime rate changes. You need to access the online library and find research reports that discuss the topic of crime rate increasing or decreasing over time

Crime Rate in Omaha When Compared to Other Cities


Institution of Affiliation


Abstract 2

Introduction. 2

Literature Review.. 4

Proposed Theoretical Model 6

Research Design. 7

Data Collection and Subjects. 7

Limitations. 7

Ethical Considerations. 8

Expected Outcomes – Analysis Significance. 8

Data Analysis. 9

Results. 9

Conclusion. 13

References. 15


Omaha is one of the largest city in the United Stands and houses some the top companies such as Pacific Corporation and Berkshire Hathaway. Therefore, it is imperative that crime is controlled to create a safe environment for both investors and residents. To understand the distribution of prevalence of crime in the city, this study assembles crime data from the website and organize it give the changes in rates over the years. It uses the various types of crime including robbery, murder, aggravated assault, rape, motor vehicle theft, burglary and other forms of theft. It uses raw counts from the website as recorded from 2013 to 2017. In addition, the study compares the rates with five other cities with similar population size to Omaha. It uses quantitative technique to collect and analyze data and present in tables. Analyses of the tables indicate that crime rates in Omaha have been increasing with a 5.21 percent increase recorded in 2017. Other cities have seen their crime rates decrease over the years with Miami recording the highest decrease of 18.1 percent. The study leads to a conclusion that Omaha city has devastating crime ratings thereby authenticating the need for the police department to restrategize to salvage the situation.


As chief police in Omaha City, it is imperative to understand the dynamics of the crime rates in the perspective of the trend in the last five years and comparing the statistics with other cities of similar population size. The type of crimes that would be considered in this research include robbery, murder, aggravated assault, rape, auto theft, burglary, and theft. Omaha is a city in Nebraska with a population size of 466,000; other cities with a similar population size that would be relevant in analysis and comparison include Colorado Springs, Long Beach, Miami, and Virginia Beach. This study will establish whether the police department at Omaha is having an adequate effect on the crime rate when compared to other cities of similar population.

Crime in Omaha has varied widely over the years since early times when Omaha was perceived as a frontier town with widespread activities of prostitution and gambling. As the city grew, civic expectations of higher standards developed with contemporary concerns for violent and property crimes authenticating the need to develop an efficient policing department that would control crimes. As an industrial city going into the 20th century, shared in the social vices of the cities in the United States that had been accompanied by rapid economic growth and entrant of immigrants (Hull, 1993). Poverty emanating from job loss and discrimination contributed to different crimes as the city was approaching the 21st century with drug trafficking and abuse becoming linked with violent crime rates after gangs from Los Angeles established affiliates in the city.

Since the 1990s, crime rates have been on the decreasing end in the city with FBI reports indicating that the rate of violent crimes per 100,000 individuals has been lower than the rates of three other cities with similar population size (Greater Omaha Economic Development Council, 2009).  Both violent and property crimes are still a social problem in the city, for instance, a detective by the name Kerrie Orozco was shot dead in 2015 as he went to serve a suspect with an arrest warrant in North Omaha (Womack, 2012). The other officers who had accompanied him shot and killed the suspect. This shows that crime is still rife in the city and analyzing the statistics would help in strategic planning and benchmarking for containment of the situation.

Analysis of the reports on the top ten safest cities in Nebraska omits Omaha in the list. It also emerges that the crime rates in Nebraska are above the national average rates; recent reports indicate 5.43 violent crimes per 1,000 people while the national average was 4.49. Property crimes were no better with the city having 34.26 incidents against the country’s average of 27.11 (Larms.Org, 2019). The study would reveal the details behind these reports and help the police department use more effective strategies through innovation and benchmarking of improved cities. Omaha is the largest city in Nebraska and the county seat for Douglas County. It is the headquarter to five Fortune 500 firms including Union Pacific Corporation, Mutual of Omaha, Kiewit Corporation, and Berkshire Hathaway. It is in position eight on the list of top 50 cities in both Fortune 500 companies, and per capita billionaires in the United States. Therefore, it is imperative to keep crime rates in the city in check to promote more growth and maintain the existing social and business environment. The issues that arise from the research problem include:

Literature Review

Studies indicate that crime in cities is most prevalent in disadvantaged and stressful areas characterized by disproportionate concentration of unemployment, poverty and minority populations (Kershaw and Tseloni, 2005). Two criminal justice theories, routine activity theory and social disorganization theory, have been postulated to interpret the association between crime rates and the city neighborhood contexts. The routine activity theory indicates that criminal actions are linked to the behavior patterns of people living within a particular urban area and the characteristics of the social environment. Three aspects are apparent in perspective of this theory: lack of surveillance or least risk, profitable targets, and abundance of opportunities. The social disorganization theory contends that social and economic stresses such as poverty and ethnic discrimination undermines the level of social control and destroy the foundation for social cohesion, which prompts criminal activities (Jones and Pridemore, 2019).

Previous studies on crime rates in American cities have utilized aggregate data from neighborhood levels such as face blocks, block groups, or census tracts. The recommended research unit is the census tracts, as they compile socioeconomic data for explanation of the various types of crimes in US cities (Krivo and Peterson, 1996). In addition, census tract is large enough to capture satisfactory number of criminal activities within a given period. Past studies have often used official crime rates as a measure of the frequency of crimes at different geographic scales.  In its definition, crime rate encompasses the number of crime incidents in an area standardized by the population at risk, usually expressed as per a thousand people per year. This method is better than raw counts of criminal activities when comparing variations across different cities. Standardized crime rates present a realistic indication of risk of crime as research has concluded that criminals would propagate their activities in communities or cities where they are familiar or live (Ellis and Wash, 2000).

According to FBI reports (2015), all types of crimes had recorded an increase in major cities between 2014 and 2015. Homicide had increased by 3.9 percent while robbery rose by 1.4 percent. While the increase is relatively small, it produces significant effects in the social and economic setups. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that at least 4,270 individuals are treated in emergency departments on daily basis for injuries from assaults. Another study indicated that major cities experienced the highest increase in homicide and manslaughter with 20 percent increase between 2014 and 2015 (Rosenfield, 2016). Comparison of violent crimes by MCCA in the summer of 2016 showed that all violent crimes had seen an increase except rape (Major Cities Chiefs Association, 2016). More than half of the cities recorded an increase in aggravated assaults and homicides.

Studies of the underlying cause of crime in major cities indicate multi-systematic contributors. For instance, law enforcement is not enough to prevent aggravated assault or homicide. The roots of crimes span from all aspects of life and ought to be addressed in all systems of governments. Discriminatory housing policies, faulty educational systems, systematic poverty, and overburdened mental health care system are only some of the factors propagating crime. The criminal justice system and affiliated systems exhibit widespread failure through corruption and ineffectiveness thereby encouraging crime. The causes of crime are not only due to failures in government but also include the sociology, physiology, and psychology of individual members of the society (Green, Horel, and Papachristos, 2017). However, most of the causes fall within the scope of law enforcement which calls for a holistic approach from the government.

Proposed Theoretical Model

The research makes use of the theories of routine activity and social disorganization to access the predispositions to criminal activities among the inhabitants of Omaha. While literature suggest that crime rates are the appropriate analytics in comparing deviations among different cities, raw counts per year gives a clear view of the number of criminal activities in different years. Therefore, both are crucial concepts in this research; they are measurable constructs and thus do not need any conceptualization. The various variables include crime rates by city and by city. Counts of criminal activities categorized into robbery, murder, aggravated assault, rape, auto theft, burglary, and theft. Research often require prediction of the results to through the formulation of a hypothesis that will either be accepted or rejected based on the significance of the sample results. To achieve the objectives of the research, the following hypotheses are formulated:

Research Design
Data Collection and Subjects

This study will use a quantitative approach as data in form of counts would be collected from the website. This technique allows the conversion of quantitative data into usable statistics that can be used to make conclusion regarding the variables and give recommendations for correction of the problem. The data for this study involves recorded counts of robbery, murder, aggravated assault, rape, auto theft, burglary and other forms of theft in the cities of Omaha, Miami, Colorado Springs, Long Beach, and Virginia Beach. While the study is on Omaha, comparison of its crime rates with other cities is imperative. These cities are chosen on the basis of their size; the study looks to use cities of similar population size to Omaha, which has 466, 000. Miami has 470,914, Virginia Beach has 450,189, Long Beach has 467,354, and Colorado Springs has 472,688 people.


Crime reporting can vary among the various police stations that provide data to the website. It is frequently noted that police under-report and under-record crime thereby making the available data not an actual representation of the events in the neighborhoods. This would lead to erroneous conclusion and subsequent failure of the recommendations. The crime reporting due to factors such as local policing or population culture that lack tolerance on particular issues. When choosing the cities for making comparisons, population data is drawn from the last census. While this data is easy to access and high quality, there are issues with using it. In the United States, census is undertaken every 10 years. Consequently, there are as many as 9 years discrepancy in the crime data obtained and the population at risk data. If the population is stable with insignificant growth, then this would not be a problem. However, in cities like Omaha, population grows at a significant rate thereby leading to overestimates of crime rates if the counts are for a later year than when the population was counted.

Ethical Considerations

The study uses data that does not identify the individuals booked for the criminal activities. Therefore, it upholds the ethical standards of keeping the participants of the study private and confidential. The data is used for display the trends in criminal rates with the intention of providing recommendations on how Omaha city can cultivate a safe environment for its residents and to attract investors. All the ethical standards for a research are maintained despite the sensitivity of the research topic.

Expected Outcomes – Analysis Significance

They study provides comparison among cities and over the years in presenting the performance of Omaha in crime ratings. It would help evaluates the performance of the police department in the city in preventing and controlling crime. It would also show how the control strategies that are implemented every year are assisting in changing the crime rates. Analyzing the trends over the five-year period would give an idea of whether the rates have been increasing or decreasing and which criminal activities have contributed to the changes. Comparing the rates with other cities of equal population size would help perceive those that are doing better than Omaha and therefore evaluate their crime mitigation strategies. This forms the basis for formulation of the recommendations for improvement in the city.

Data Analysis

Data is analyzed through calculation of the percentages to give the rates of increases in the five-year period for each city. The various types of crimes are also analyzed in their rates of change through calculation of percentages. Data is presented in tables and figures such as trend graphs, bar graphs, and pie charts.


Collection and analysis of data is as presented in table 1 below.

Table 1: crime rates in Omaha and other four cities over a five-year period

CityYearRobberyMurderAgg AssaultRapeAuto TheftBurglaryTheftTotal
Omaha City2013718421505184308035091251921,557
Rate of Change0.16 %0.7 %-23.8 %1.2 %-2.2 %2.1 %14.6 %3.8 % 
Rate of Change-13.4 %-9.4 %56 %2.3 %-3.3 %-19.2 %-27.9-11 % 
Rate of Change3.42 %-6.9 %-42 %5.7 %40.8%22.9 %2.3 %0.11 % 
Rate of Change5.21 %2.4 %3.4 %11.9 %67.3 %12 %-1.1 %2.4 % 
CityYearRobberyMurderAgg AssaultRapeAuto TheftBurglaryTheftTotal
Rate of Change-1.89 %-1.04 %– 6.82 %9.45 %-4.17 %-4.26 %– 9.14 %-1.36 
Rate of Change-3.85 %-9.96 %3.66 %3.71 %-2.51 %2.97 %-16.38 %-2.55 % 
Rate of Change15.95 %7.5 %1.18 %-4.31 %-4.8 %1.88 %– 50.8 %-0.38 % 
Rate of Change-18.1 %-7.91 %8.14 %-4.17 %23.96 %6.37 %65.91 %-3.09 % 
CityYearRobberyMurderAgg AssaultRapeAuto TheftBurglaryTheftTotal
Virginia Beach2013306172661594281388932811892
Rate of Change-12.2 %-16.34 %0 %4.51 %-6.29 %-19.4 %-26.3 %-10.3 % 
Rate of Change2.52 %3.86 %11.76 %-15.11 %-1.34 %16.52 %-9.48 %2.77 % 
Rate of Change-1.83 %-1.89 %15.79 %21.19 %13.61 %13.68 %-10.69 %1.4 % 
Rate of Change-9.24 %7.58 %-31.82 %-12.94 %-16.2 %-6.56 %-12.33 %-9.32 % 
CityYearRobberyMurderAgg AssaultRapeAuto TheftBurglaryTheftTotal
Long Beach2013111733109410220042411866915430
Rate of Change-4.61 %-20.5 %-30.3 %14.08 %7.84 %-7.54 %-9.75 %-2.85 % 
Rate of Change16.32 %18.81 %56.52 %18.83 %62.73 %9.34 %-10.99 %23.56 % 
Rate of Change0.13 %7.87 %-8.33 %-0.2 %10.06 %0.15 %-1.29 %-0.49% 
Rate of Change-7.9 %8.7 %-33.33 %10.95 %3.05 %-21.75 %-10.52 %-9.35 % 
CityYearRobberyMurderAgg AssaultRapeAuto TheftBurglaryTheftTotal
Colorado Springs2013426311027318188237761276920229
Rate of Change-9.6 %-3.29 %-25.81 %15.29 %-2.2 %-14.13 %-27.25 %-6.07 % 
Rate of Change0.65 %-8.5 %26.09 %2.62 %-12.2 %3.96 %-12.85 %3.7 % 
Rate of Change0.08 %16.98 %-24.14 %13 %5.13 %19.46 %6.35 %-5.58 % 
Rate of Change-4.78 %9.75 %45.45 %4.52 %-5.92 %7.13 %-2.55 %-8.99 % 

Analysis of the data indicates that crime rate has been on the increase since 2013 with the only year with a recorded decrease being 2015, when crime rate decreased by 13.4 percent. Murder crime rate has shown consistent decrease in the five years period.

All the cities compared with Omaha had better crime ratings with all of them recording decrease in crime in the course of the five-year period. In 2017, Virginia Beach recorded a drop of 9.24 percent, Long Beach recorded 7.9 percent decrease, Miami recorded 18.1 percent decrease, and Colorado Springs recorded 4.78 percent decrease. Only Omaha city recorded an increase in the crime rates with a 5.21 percent increase. However, a look at the crime accounts in all the cities indicate Miami to have the highest number of the counts. The city’s strategies in averting these numbers seem to be working in reducing the high numbers as there has been consistent decrease in the crime rates. It recorded the highest rate of decrease of decrease.


Omaha city is lagging behind in terms of crime control. Crime rates have been increasing over the last five years while cities of similar size have been containing crime to document a negative growth. Therefore the chief office in Omaha police department need to reassess crime control strategies and even borrow from those cities that are doing well in their mitigation strategies.


Greater Omaha Economic Development Council. (2009, February). Crime in Omaha.

FBI. (2015). Crime in the United States. Retrieved from d.

Green, B., Horel, T., & Papachristos, A. V. (2017). Modeling contagion through social networks to explain and predict gunshot violence in Chicago, 2006 to 2014. JAMA internal medicine, 177(3), 326-333.

Hull, J. (1993, August). Time Magazine. Retrieved from,9171,978960-3,00.html

Jones, R. W., & Pridemore, W. A. (2019). Toward an integrated multilevel theory of crime at place: Routine activities, social disorganization, and the law of crime concentration. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 35(3), 543-572.

Kershaw, C., & Tseloni, A. (2005). Predicting crime rates, fear and disorder based on area information: Evidence from the 2000 British Crime Survey. International Review of Victimology, 12(3), 293-311. (2019). The Safest Cities in Nebraska 2019. Retrieved from

Major Cities Chiefs Association. (2016). Violent Crime Survey- Totals, Midyear Comparison between 2016 and 2015 [Data file]. Retrieved from

OMAHA, N. C. I. (2007). A spatial Analysis of Neighborhood Crime in Omaha, Nebraska using alternative measures of crime rates.

Rosenfeld, R. (2016). Documenting and explaining the 2015 homicide rise: Research directions. National Institute of Justice at https://www. ncjrs. gov/pdffiles1/nij/249895. pdf.

Simon, T. (2016, September). Health Burden of Violence in United States. Presented at the Violence and Violence Prevention Congressional Briefing, Washington, D.C

Womack, S. (2012, January). No end to pain of 37 homicides. Retrieved from

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