With Nebraska’s legislative session set to begin, the City of Omaha is searching for senators to sponsor a bill to limit furlough privileges and “good time” sentencing for violent criminals.

Mayor Jim Suttle and Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer endorsed such a proposal Tuesday, and the mayor said he’s received support from Omaha senators. State Sen. Burke Harr of Omaha stood next to the mayor at Tuesday’s press conference.

The exact language of a bill still is being drafted, officials said, but it would propose that the Department of Correctional Services notify police when inmates receive furloughs. The proposed law also would restrict “good time” privileges for those convicted of violent crimes or gang- and gun-related offenses.

The state’s prisoner furlough program was scrutinized after an Omaha man and former gang member on furlough was shot and killed by Omaha police officers last year after reportedly reaching for a gun in his waistband.

State Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a challenger to Suttle in Omaha’s mayoral election, has said that furlough legislation will be considered this session.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1068, johnny.perez@owh.com, twitter.com/PerezJr

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