Governor’s Office Releases State Patrol Reform Updates – Sheridan County Journal Star

Governor’s Office Releases State Patrol Reform Updates – Sheridan County Journal Star

Gov. Pete Ricketts’ office released an end-of-the-year update on the Nebraska State Patrol reform, which indicated the agency’s progress in investigations into officer misconduct, policy and procedure deficiencies, and needed legislative reforms.

Following the NSP reform release, Governor Pete Ricketts issued the following statement, “Under Col. Bolduc’s leadership, the State Patrol has already taken significant steps to improve their operations and workforce climate. The State Patrol is Nebraska’s premiere law enforcement agency. The men and women who serve in the agency are helping protect our families and communities across the state every day.”

In the report, Chief Human Resources Officer Jason Jackson outlined investigative findings and future actions for the three areas.

Regarding officer misconduct, Jackson noted an additional trooper was investigated for suspicion of misconduct, bringing the NSP officers under investigation to seven. From the internal investigations, misconduct was found for all seven officers. The report did not offer names or specific details of the findings.

Jackson also addressed the criminal investigations about two incidents where troopers used a rifle-butt use of force and a Tactical Vehicle Intervention use of force. There were concerns about inaccurate reporting in both instances, which Jackson said the NSP is addressing by revising the 803 Use of Force form. The revision will require a Lieutenant-level review to confirm the report’s accuracy. The investigation findings were submitted to the FBI and Sheridan County special prosecutor Joe Stecher for further investigation, which remains ongoing.

Other policy and procedure changes the state patrol is taking involve the internal affairs investigative process, sexual harassment, code of conduct, and ammunition controls.

Jackson said the office urged NSP to investigate dishonesty and misuse of force allegations and report any substantiated findings to the crime commission. The NSP would also have to report when an officer resigns rather than being disciplined. To incorporate substantive changes, Jackson said they would need to renegotiate the contract with the State Law Enforcement Bargaining Council (SLEBC) or have a legislative intervention. SLEBC declined to renegotiate, so the office is drafting legislative reforms for the upcoming session.

Read the original article from the Sheridan County Journal Star here.