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FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The following findings and recommendations are submitted under the provisions of Section 703.2(e) of the Commission's regulations, empowering the Advisory Committees to "Initiate and forward advice and recommendations to the Commission upon matters which the State Committees have studied.
The Nebraska Advisory Committee presents the findings and recommendations for consideration by the Commission in its national program planning and for its consideration in advising the President and Congress on matters within its jurisdiction. Finding 1: The Advisory Committee finds that although the city has made some efforts to recruit minorities and women, these efforts have not enabled it to meet the terms of the 1980 consent decree with the Department of Justice and the Midwest Guardians. The responsibility for recruitment now lies entirely with the personnel department, which has insufficient staff to do an adequate job. Further, the Advisory Committee finds that liaison with minority
organizations for recruitment purposes has been infrequent, informal and
Recommendation 1: The Advisory Committee urges the mayor to direct the city personnel department and police division to develop and implement a joint program to encourage minorities to join the police force. Minority organizations should be consulted for ideas on an effective recruitment program. The personnel department should utilize minority organizations as key elements in the search for minority applicants. Recommendation la: The chief of police should assign at least one full-time position within the division the responsiblity to actively recruit minority applicants on a one-to-one basis, in cooperation with the personnel department. All officers should be urged to make ad hoc efforts and those who successfully recruit minority or female applicants who begin the examination
process should be rewarded with monetary benefits and/or special commendations
useful in promotional decisions.
Finding 2: The Advisory Committee finds that the 1980 consent decree, mentioned above, has been the source of resentment, misunderstanding and hostility within the police division and community. Recommendation 2: The Advisory Committee urges the chief of police to include in both recruit and inservice training a discussion of the consent decree, including the problems leading to the lawsuit and the provisions of the
Finding 3: The Advisory Committee finds that of all the selection devices used by the police division, only the physical agility test has been validated for job-relatedness. Recommendation 3: The Advisory Committee urges the personnel department to validate all portions of the selection process to ensure their relevance to actual job performance. Finding 4: The Advisory Committee finds that there is little confidence in the fairness and impartiality of the selection process, particularly regarding the polygraph examination and oral interviews. The Advisory Committee notes that these and other aspects of the selection process are being reviewed by the personnel department. Recommendation 4: The Advisory Committee urges the personnel department to complete its review of the polygraph examination and oral interview as quickly as possible and make its findings public. If either selection device is found to discriminate against women or minorities, it should be amended or eliminated. Consideration should be given to putting civilians on the oral interview panels. Finding 5: The Advisory Committee notes that training is currently done entirely by the police division. The lack of sufficient human relations
training, the tests given recruits and the fairness of instructors were criticized by community leaders and some officers. Recommendation 5: The Advisory Committee urges the public safety department and the department of personnel to cooperate in reviewing curriculum, providing professional civilian instructors for some courses, and developing appropriate and valid tests. Finding 6: The Advisory Committee finds that recruit and inservice training is seriously lacking in human relations courses although social services make up the bulk of an officer's workload. Recommendation 6: The Advisory Committee urges that the police division add more human relations courses to its training program. The city's human relations department should be considered as one possible source for instructors and materials. Members of the local minority community also should be considered as resources. Finding 7: The Advisory Committee finds that although the State has adopted the Model Penal Code which restricts the use of force and the police division has adopted guidelines to implement the statute, police officers still have been involved in incidents that cause great concern to the minority community. Recommendation 7: Training in the use of force, especially deadly force, must emphasize the overriding need to protect the lives and safety of officers, bystanders and suspects. The Advisory Committee urges the police division to include additional training on the use of force in its training program. Inservice training for all officers should be scheduled regularly so as to thoroughly indoctrinate the officers. Finding 8: The Advisory Committee finds that the police division has not established guidelines for escalation in the use of nondeadly force by an
officer or defined the circumstances in which each level of force is to be
Recommendation 8: The Advisory Committee urges the police division to adopt the model rules published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police relative to the escalation of force. Finding 9: The Advisory Committee finds that over the years the community relations bureau has not had a stable existence, at one time being without a coordinator for several years. The position of coordinator now has been eliminated and the duties assigned to a deputy chief. Further, the Advisory Committee finds that the community is largely unaware of the purpose and functions of the community services bureau. Recommendation 9: The Advisory Committee urges the police division to review the current status of the community services bureau, evaluate its activities and develop a coordinated program to improve police-community relations. Community and minority organizations should be a part of the planning process. Recommendation 9a: The Advisory Committee recommends that the police division initiate a public information campaign for at least twelve months. The purpose would be to inform the public not only about the community services bureau but also about other aspects of policing, such as the complaint process and 911 system. If the program succeeds in improving police-community relations, it should become permanent. Recommendation 9b: The mayor and chief of police should issue a joint statement emphasizing their support of community relations programs and making it clear that discourteous, disrespectful or unfair treatment of citizens by police officers will not be tolerated. Finding 10: The Advisory Committee finds that there has been too little contact between police officers and the community, despite limited outreach programs in the past and despite the current desires of the mayor and police division officials to increase use of the 10-10 status (whereby officers may leave their cars while staying available for calls).
Recommendation 10: The Advisory Committee recommends that the chief of police
make clear that division policy encourages the use of 10-10 status. The chief of police should monitor its use and evaluate its effectiveness. If it proves effective, the chief periodically should emphasize its use through inservice and recruit training. Finding 11: The Advisory Committee finds that the minority community has very little confidence in the existing citizen complaint process. The mechanics of the complaint process and the right to appeal to the mayor's administrative review board are relatively unknown to the minority community. While there is widespread dissatisfaction with police processing of citizen complaints, few appeals have been presented to the mayor's administrative review board.
Recommendation 11: The Advisory Committee recommends that the city establish
a citizen complaint process that balances the rights of the police officers and the citizens. Consideration should be given to using an outside agency to take the complaints and allowing complaints to be filed at locations other than the police division headquarters. Recommendation lla: The Advisory Committee urges the police division in cooperation with the city's human relations department to initiate a public information campaign informing citizens of their right to file complaints and the steps needed to do so.