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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
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
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
The personnel department should utilize minority organizations as
key elements in the search for minority applicants.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.