Breaking News
Police Shortage Hits Critical Mass         Troopers Accused in OT Scam         DROP Lawsuit: Judge Rules Against Cops         The Real Reason They’re After Your Pension? Money!         DROP Program Getting Negative Press         Millennials, White-collar Workers Bringing New Life to Unions         New Study Reveals Police Rarely Use Force         Fake Cop Badges are Everywhere         Best Path for a Trim, Healthy Body         Teachers Get 5% After Strike; Victory for Cops, Too!         When is Police “Use of Force” Justified?         Police Unions & the Video Craze         Scary Day for Police Unions         Night Tours Can Hurt Your Health         Stress Weakens Brain Power; Exercise Can Bring It Back         Police Association President Arrests Suspect—On His Street!         An Assault on Common Sense         NYPD Sergeant Acquitted On All Charges         Fingerprint Scanner to Track On-the-job Time         New Jersey Cops Fighting for Their Pensions         Police and Attorney Say “No Way” to Restrictive Use of Force Policy         Jury Is Out On This Police Review Board         A Police Union With Power!         Stressed-Out Officers: Gone After Eight Years         More Union Members in 2017         Police, Fire Lose Court Fight Over Pensions         Baltimore Discovers It Wants and Needs Its Police         VIDEO: Austin Cops Leaving in Droves         Off-Duty Jobs Scam Uncovered         Deputies Demand $500,000 In Back Pay         Stressed Out Officers, Gone After 8 Years         City Scrambles to Save Pensions         Police Boss Gets Jail Time, Rank and File Up In Arms         CONTRACT REJECTED! Younger Officers Upset With High Healthcare Costs         Police Pensions Protected (For Now)         Let’s Support Firefighters; Cops Will Be Next         Man With a Plan         FBI Will Not Investigate Detective’s Homicide         What About “Warning Shots?” The Debate Continues         Dallas 9-1-1 Back On Track         Hope for Pay Raises in St. Louis         VIDEO: NYC Hero Cop Speaks         New Policies on Deadly Force         ALADS Continues Legal Fight Over “Brady” List         Cops Forgo Raise to Keep 4-3 Schedule         One Cop’s Take On Colin Kaepernick         VIDEO: “We Brought Our Brother Home”         LISTEN: No Sleep? You’d Better Fix That!         VIDEO: What Really Happened         ACLU: Detective’s Right to Free Speech Was Violated         Time To Stop the Finger Pointing         If Things Go Bad, You Need a Plan         Dear Anthem Protesters: Police are Not the Enemy         Real Police Facing Private Takeover         Hard Work, Heartache, and a Lot of Love         VIDEO: Harvey’s Horrific Aftermath         VIDEO: Keeping World Leaders Safe         Bill Bratton On the Future of American Policing         Who Will Pay for New Contract?         VIDEO: Detectives Fight Plan to Cut Pensions         Taking Care of Others, Then Our Own         Public Support For Unions is Growing         Minneapolis Considering Residency Incentives         VIDEO: Cop Battling Cancer is Harvey Hero         VIDEO: Dancing With the Cops?         Cops Speak Out Against Use of “Thin Blue Line” by Hate Groups         What Is the Arnold Foundation Hiding?         Decision May Violate Officers’ Rights         Court Deems Evergreen Clause Constitutional         No Raises for Cops; $140M for Stadium         Philly Cops Win $8M O.T. Settlement         We Condemn Nazis and White Supremacists         Mounties Face Crisis, No Solution in Sight         Push to Oust Louisville PD Chief Intensifying         CSLEA is Newest Member of PubSecAlliance         Ford is Fixing the Problem         “It’s Been An Honor to Work With Chief Marshman”         Automatic Dues Collection Under Attack         Cops Use Video to Go for Pay Raise         Understaffed Leads to Rise In Crime         R.I.P. Deputy Haak         Ruling On Body Cams: Use Must Be Negotiated         Rochester Police Locust Club (NY) Joins PubSecAlliance         Officer Acquitted Of Negligent Homicide         Texas Cops Oppose Anti-Union Bill         Insults Divide, Decency Unites         FOP Prez Threatened, Police Investigate         VIDEO: Sergeant’s Indictment Prompts Outpouring of Support         VIDEO: Sounding the Alarm On a Manpower Crisis         VIDEO: Dramatic Body Cam Footage!         VIDEO: Police Union Advises Action Amid “Breaking Point”         VT First State to OK Compensation for PTSD         Officer Suicides: Agencies Must Do More         Outsiders Clamor for Police Contract Changes         Governor Furloughs Workers, Hits the Beach         Recruit the Best at U.S. Army Reserves         VIDEO: Sergeant Charged With Murder 2         R.I.P. Officer Korchak         More Officers Taking Own Lives         Pride in Honoring Our Own         A Tale of Two Chiefs         New Accountability System Gives Civilians More Power         Police Unions Call for “Rational Voice”         Texas Moves to Save Pensions         City Refuses to Pay Officer’s Legal Bills         Rank and File Question Dubious Hiring         The Mounties Have Never Had to Contend With a Union         Police Week: Anguish, Anger, Empathy         Rookies Sue for OT Pay During Academy Training         FLSA Pay Ruling: Use Cash, Not Benefits         Record Crowd Attends Annual Candlelight Vigil         Everyone Needs Sleep, Especially Cops         Questions Raised About New John Jay President         Hennepin County Sheriff Joins NYPD Shield Program         Big Surprise: Paper Misrepresents Contract Talks         County Budget Leaves Us Underfunded         VIDEO: Omaha Unions Say No to Gov         City Says “No Police Floats” In Parade         One-Minute Man         Is This the Solution to Cop Shootings?         Ingredients for Better LE Outcomes         Why the Police Need Unions         Mounties Demand a Union & Contract         Indebted to Some Very Brave People         We’ve Been Abandoned by Politicos, Command Staff         VIDEO: The Most Hated Man In Pensionland         Underfunded Pensions: a Disaster Waiting to Happen         Another Ambush Attack!         Today, It’s You; Tomorrow, It’s a Security Guard         VIDEO: NJ Police May Get Control of Unfunded Pensions         Thousands of Officers to Get BIG Bonuses         Improving Economy Hurts LE Recruitment         Another Fundraising Scam         Threats to Police Retirement Programs Escalate         Conflict Rises, Billboards Go Up         NJ Unilaterally Changing Police Contract         Pensions Slowly Being Reduced and Replaced         Baltimore Chief: “No More Plainclothes”         When Will All This Stop?         Top Police Union Leader Joins Protest         VIDEO: “Line of Duty” is HERE!         Chicago Cops Get Thanks They Deserve         Mayors Missing as Pension Fund Goes Down         Pension Bill Draws Protest         Deputies Association Hires High-Powered PR Exec         Finally, a Contract for NYPD Officers         Nebraska Corrections Officers Seek Out F.O.P.         Outrage Grows Over Pension Plans in Peril         Sanctuary Cities: Police vs. Mayor         Police Unions Seek to Overhaul Obama’s Reforms         Super Bowl Security         Look Hard at Your Pension Fund         Pension Mediation Talks Cease; Lawsuit Looms         How Much Would You Pay for Policing?         Hazardous Workplace         Officers Leaving in Droves         Technology, Police, and Privacy         Fake Guns Destroy Lives         War Against Unions Gaining Ground         Washington D.C. Police Union in Turmoil         Teamsters Face 20% Cut in Pension Benefits         Body Cam Screw-ups Lead to Mistrial         VIDEO: Body Cam Catches Shootout         Restraining Order for Black Lives Matter Leader         New Chief Has Fight On His Hands         Pension Panic Spreads         Carrots and Sticks         Another Agency May Fold         Community and Police Join in Prayer         VIDEO: We Are There For You!         Feds Seek Repeat of Disastrous Police Hiring Practices         VIDEO: Officer’s Gift of Kindness Keeps on Giving         Is Trump Going After Collective Bargaining Rights?         Police Union Not “App”y         Police Union Fights Back Against Budget Cuts         Police Union Reinstates Body Cam Program         Citizen Wants Officer Fired for FB Post         VIDEO: Use of Force Policy Fiasco         Attacks on Law Enforcement         VIDEO: Where Is the Outrage?         Millions May Lose Overtime Pay         Mayor Violates Officer’s Right to Due Process         VIDEO: Police Union Heals With Song         State Moves to Nix Benefits From Collective Bargaining         City, Officer Cleared in Wrongful Death Case         Trump Puts OT, Benefits On Chopping Block         VIDEO: A World Without Law Enforcement         VIDEO: Shake It Off         HUGE Refund for AZ Public-Safety Pensioners         Eloquent Goodbye         Cheerleader In Chief         The Trouble With Trauma         Shocking News About Local Gov Pension Funds         See You In Court!         One of the Good Guys         Chief Resigns After No-Confidence Vote         Zika Virus Hits Cops         Iowa Officers Ambushed         Policing the Police         For Real Community Policing, Let Officers Do Their Jobs        

Omaha Police Officers Association











Message from the Omaha POA President, Sgt. John Wells

SGt. John Wells is president of the Omaha POA.

Sgt. John Wells is president of the Omaha POA.

On behalf of the over 750 dedicated men and women that make up the Omaha Police Department, we are proud to be founding members of PubSecAlliance.

Here in Omaha, if history has taught us anything it’s that a big city police department’s level of effectiveness is directly correlated to its level of connection and engagement within the community. Even under so called “normal conditions,” police work is a tough and fast-paced profession often burdened with an intense workload.  Despite that, experienced police officers will tell you that healthy interaction and trust, between the police and the public we serve, makes their job easier.

Today’s challenges of city-wide gang and gun crime, in combination with a decreased level of police manpower, has made it more difficult than ever for police officers on the beat to find time to slow down and interact with the public in order to answer questions, build trust and strengthen relationships.

It is my deep desire, and full intention, with our new interactive web site we will do just that.

The Omaha POA website will better familiarize Omaha’s citizens not only with the men and women of the Omaha Police Department, but it will also be a “one shop stop” for concerned citizens to get constantly updated critical public safety information, as well as a means of offering feedback and enhanced dialogue.

Sgt. John Wells, President
Omaha Police Officers Association



The Omaha POA, a proud 80-year history

The Omaha POA’s goal is to professionally represent the over 750 sworn peace officers that comprise the Omaha Police Department. In order to achieve this goal, the OPOA strives to promote a high level of commitment to public safety and professionalism within the ranks of the OPD via an emphasis on education, legal support, community outreach and trust building.

The Omaha POA’s goal is to professionally represent the over 750 sworn peace officers that comprise the Omaha Police Department. In order to achieve this goal, the OPOA strives to promote a high level of commitment to public safety and professionalism within the ranks of the OPD via an emphasis on education, legal support, community outreach and trust building.

Since 1934, there has been an organization dedicated to representing the professional men and women of the Omaha Police Department who protect and serve Omaha. Over the years, although the names may have changed, the commitment to excellence in service has remained the same. Today, that organization is known as the Omaha Police Officers Association.

So that the citizens of Omaha may enjoy an exceptional level of police protection by attracting and retaining the best and brightest police officers, balanced with a focus on the responsible use of tax dollars, the OPOA strives to ensure that the wages of OPD officers are competitive to those being paid to officers in similar cities facing similar crime and danger. This means that the OPOA is dedicated to ensuring that OPD officers salaries do not slip below, or rise above, the average of that paid to officers in similar cities. This approach is fair to hard working officers and taxpayers alike.

Omaha faces many challenges. With big city crime and the challenges of dangerous gang activity and violence comes the need to maintain a highly professional police force. The Omaha POA is committed to partnering with our community and city leaders to make Omaha a safer place and maintain it as a great city to live, work and raise a family.




Omaha POA in the news

How we saved our D.B. pensions

by Cynthia Brown, Publisher
American Police Beat
Sept/Oct 2014



Aaron Hanson, the former president of the Omaha POA, is determined to keep defined benefit pensions for his members and he may just succeed.

What if we told you there was a big city where five years ago the pension plan for police and fire was only 39% funded and actuaries were predicting bankruptcy in 20 years. Translation? In 20 years officers who retired from the police department  after 25 to 30 years of service might get nothing at all.

Fast forward five years. That same fund is now close to 50% funded, 28% of the payroll deficit has been lowered to 1.5% and the pension fund is on track to be fully funded in 20 years. If you think this can’t be true, guess again.

Aaron Hanson, the former president of the Omaha Police Officers’ Association and one of the seven trustees of the City of Omaha Police and Fire Retirement System, said the results prove that if the officers understand and accept that they have to take a hit and share the sacrifice, a troubled pension plan can be turned around.

The bad news arrived in early 2008 – the Omaha Police and Fire Pension System was in serious trouble. The outgoing mayor took action and implemented a pension task force in 2009 to come up with some solutions.

“To his credit,” Hanson explains, “it was a balanced group. There were actuaries, lawyers, and accountants, along with representatives from the city and the police and fire unions. But there were more experts at the table than politicians and that helped.”

The POA began an intense effort to educate their members about the disaster on the horizon if extreme measures were not taken by both the city and the police and fire unions.  There were endless meetings, news letters, postings on social media to let Omaha cops know the consequences of doing nothing.

To get the pension program back on track would require a whopping 27% of the police and fire payroll annually and even with that amount of money the fund would not be solvent for 35 years.

The big give-back on the cops’ side according to Hansen was the elimination of pension spiking. The new contract stipulates that retirement benefits are calculated on the highest one to three year average. A new tier for future employees eliminates overtime being factored into the retirement benefit.

“We cut our benefits for every single cop, we stopped spiking by introducing a career overtime average, and we paid in additional money,” Hanson said. “That brought our contribution up to 13.5 % of the payroll. The city agreed to contribute the other 13.5% which brought us up to the 27% extra the fund needed to survive.

“When we began our talks Omaha did not have a DROP plan,” Hanson continued. “But we worked with pension actuaries and designed a ‘cost neutral DROP’ which turned out to be cost-positive really. With our new innovative DROP plan we are paying off the  unfunded liability and future pension benefits at the same time and our members had a new benefit that made it easier for them to accept the give-backs.”


Keeping your pension secure: Tips from Aaron Hanson

Have someone at the police association responsible for understanding what’s going on with the pension plan. Keep in touch with the politicians but stay close to the actuaries – they have the accurate information. Educate the public about what it means if police do not have a secure retirement and why the inevitable turnover in personnel will be a disaster in the law enforcement profession – a job that takes a lot of experience and training to do it well.
In our case city underfunded to get the short term financial gain and the trustees did not do their due diligence. Make sure the employer is paying what they should be into the fund. Stories of cities, towns, counties and states using money allotted for retirement funds for other projects are numerous – it should be illegal and has to stop.
Keep fighting back in every way you cab against the organizations and politicians who are committed to ending the defined benefit pensions. Our pension is back on the right track, but there is no coverage of this in the local media – they just keep focusing on the unfunded liability which is still at 50% but moving in the right direction.
Engage with politicians but stay close to the actuaries.