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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

ineffective.

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

settlement.

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

used.

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-conmunity 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.

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