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The Advisory Committee found insufficient recruit or inservice human relations training. The Advisory Committee urges the police division to add more human relation courses to its training programs. The city's human relations department and members of the local minority community should be considered as sources for instructors and materials.
The Advisory Committee found that although Nebraska has adopted the Model Penal Code which restricts the use of force and the police division has adopted guidelines to implement the State statute, police officers still have been involved in incidents where the force used caused great concern to the minority community. The Advisory Committee recommends that the police division provide additional recruit and inservice training on the use of force. The Advisory Committee notes that the police division has not established guidelines for escalation in the use of non-deadly force and urges the division to adopt the model rules published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police regarding the use of force.
The Advisory Committee found that the community services bureau has not had a stable existence and that its purpose and functions are not understood by the public. 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. Further, the Advisory Committee recommends that the police division initiate a public information campaign for at least twelve months and should make the program permanent if it succeeds in improving police-community relations. 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.
The Advisory Committee found 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 have police officers leave their cars to walk part of their beat while remaining available for calls. The Advisory Committee recommends that the chief of police make clear that division policy encourages informal contacts with the community.
The Advisory Comnittee found that the minority community has very little confidence in the existing citizen complaint process. The Advisory Committee recommends that the city establish a citizen complaint process that balances the rights of the police officers and the citizens. A public information campaign should be initiated to inform citizens about the complaint process.
We urge you to concur with our recommendations and to assist the Advisory Committee in follow-up activities.
SHIRLEY M. MARSH, Chairperson
The report was produced with the assistance of the Commission's Central States
Regional Office. The investigation, report and legal sufficiency review were the principal staff assignment of Elaine M. Esparza, Esq. Writing assistance
was provided by Malcolm J. Barnett. Editorial assistance was provided by
Etta Lou Wilkinson. Valuable assistance was also provideed by Jo Ann Daniels
and Gloria O'Leary, support staff.
The project was undertaken under the
overall supervision of Melvin L. Jenkins, Esq., Director, Central States