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Nebraska Crime Commission launches more comprehensive list of officer misconduct

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 11:13:48-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraskans can now find a list of law enforcement personnel who have been decertified since Jan. 1, 2021. The 19 reports offer more details than were previously available online.

Each report gives the officer's name, rank, agency, reason they're on the list, what the discipline was, and a signature by the chief of police or sheriff affirming the accuracy.

Officers found to have committed serious misconduct without being decertified would also be on the list. However, it appears none yet fall into that category, as all were decertified — some due to a conviction.

Legislative Bill 51 was signed by Gov. Pete Ricketts last year. It includes several police reform pieces, including a requirement for a public list of officers who have been decertified, have a serious misconduct on their record as determined by the Police Standards Advisory Council, or were found guilty of a felony or Class I misdemeanor.

"(Police misconduct) shouldn't be a secret," said State Sen. Terrell McKinney of Omaha, when 3 News Now spoke with him in November.

McKinney introduced a bill calling for the list that was added to LB 51.

"Initially there was some hesitancy, but you know, doctors report to the state. It's public, you can see it. So there's no reason for law enforcement to not have these things public as well."

The serious misconduct that must be listed are actions that "have a rational connection to the person's fitness or capacity to serve." That specifically includes fabrication of evidence, repeated excessive force, bribery, fraud, perjury and sexual assault.

Reporting that serious misconduct is required.

"Up until 51 went into effect, there was no mandatory report of serious misconduct to a state agency like us, unless the individual left employment or there were criminal charges filed," said Brenda Urbanek, the director of the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center, in November. "So, the information hadn't been collected up until now."

University of Nebraska Omaha criminology professor Justin Nix is excited about the list, but wishes it were more user-friendly.

"It’s something people have been clamoring for ... certainly since Ferguson, maybe longer," Nix said.

Lists like this are helpful for out-of-state agencies hiring officers, he said.

Find the list here: ncc.nebraska.gov

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