Professional Standards

Professional Standards

Accreditation

Accreditation
Accreditation

The Nebraska State Patrol is an internationally accredited law enforcement agency and a proud member of The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

The Policy and Accreditation Division is responsible for the development and management of department policies, procedures, and forms.  This process employs a deliberate system of principles designed to assist agency employees with both subjective and objective decision making.  These activities impact all levels of the organization and contribute to the overall management and operational continuity throughout all levels of the organization.

Division responsibilities also include maintaining and continually verifying compliance with approximately 500 accreditation standards which govern the entire spectrum of contemporary policing.  This process also requires the coordination of administration and management philosophies designed to contribute to overall organizational excellence, while ensuring accountability to the public.

Guide to Administrative Hearings

Guide to Administrative Hearings
Guide to Administrative Hearings

If you have requested and been granted a hearing before the agency hearing officer, the following guidelines should be reviewed and considered prior to the date of your hearing.

  1. Right to an attorney: You have a right to be represented by an attorney at your own expense.
  2. Laws that apply: The laws that apply at the hearing are Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-901 to 84-920, the Administrative Procedure Act; Title 272 Nebraska Administrative Code Chapter 1.  Copies of these references are available in the office of the Nebraska State Patrol State Headquarters in Lincoln. The rules and regulations may also be accessed on the Secretary of State's website at the following location:Title-272/Chapter-01.
  3. Purpose of the hearing: The purpose of the hearing is to allow you an opportunity to contest the action or decision the agency has made which concerns you.
  4. Burden of proof: The Nebraska State Patrol has the burden of showing a basis for the action or decision, and you have the burden to show why the action or decision is inaccurate or erroneous.
  5. Hearing Officer: The hearing officer will be an attorney appointed  by the Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol to conduct hearings. The hearing officer will preside over the hearing, administer oaths, examine witnesses, take testimony, rule on preliminary motions, rule on all matters raised at the hearing, and recommend a decision to the Superintendent of the State Patrol.
  6. Continuances: The Superintendent or the hearing officer may continue the hearing until a later date if there is a good reason. If you want a continuance, you must make a request in writing to the hearing officer stating the reasons for your request.  Motions for continuances will not normally be considered unless filed and received by the hearing officer at least five days prior to the date fixed for the hearing.
  7. Closed hearings: All hearings, except Sex Offender Registry hearings, are open to the public.
  8. Conduct of the hearing: The hearing will be taped, which will be the official record of the hearing. The hearing officer will open the hearing by introducing him or herself and stating who is present at the hearing. The hearing officer will explain the scope and purpose of the hearing. The State Patrol's exhibits will be introduced.  You will have a chance to look at these exhibits before the hearing and have an opportunity at the hearing to object to the exhibits. The hearing officer will address any other matters that need to be dealt with before you offer evidence. The hearing officer will swear in and take testimony from witnesses for the State Patrol. You or your attorney will have a chance to ask questions of each witness who testifies for the State Patrol.  When the Patrol's witnesses have testified, and you have finished asking them questions, you will have a chance to present your side of the case. If you testify, the hearing officer or a representative of the State Patrol can ask you questions. Since the hearing will be recorded, you will need to answer any questions aloud.  Nods, shrugs, and gestures are not recorded.  After you present your side of the case, you will have a chance to make a closing argument. When you are preparing your side of the case, remember you will be limited to the relevant issues.  The hearing officer may refuse to let you offer evidence that is not relevant.
  9. Failure to appear: If you fail to appear for the hearing, the hearing officer will hold the hearing in your absence and will decide the case on the available evidence.  The hearing will begin on time. Do not be late.
  10. Rules of evidence:  You can request that the hearing be conducted with the formal rules of evidence in effect.  A written request  for rules of evidence must be delivered to the hearing officer at least three days before the hearing. In the request, you must agree to be responsible for payment of the costs, and you must provide a court reporter for the hearing.
  11. The decision: The hearing officer will recommend a decision to the Superintendent. The Superintendent makes the final decision.  A written decision will be mailed to you by certified mail. The decision may be appealed to the District Court of Lancaster County within 30 days of the day it was mailed to you and according to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.
  12. Special accommodations: If you need special accommodation because of a disability, please contact the hearing officer at least three days before the hearing.  If you need assistance with the English language, call the State Patrol Legal Division for an explanation of the necessary procedures.

Information Governance

Information Governance
Information Governance

Information Governance is a component of the Professional Standards Division and falls under the command of the Professional Standards Captain. The Information Governance Division is responsible for the care and management of the Nebraska State Patrol's records. This includes creating and maintaining the Agency's retention schedule, keeping accurate inventories of stored records, following policies and procedures for records retention and disposition, and remaining in constant contact with the Patrol's Legal, Accreditation, and Information Technology Divisions.

Information Governance responsibilities also include the proper handling and preservation of historical records, reporting all State Patrol publications to the Publications Clearinghouse, and keeping all Agency employees informed and trained on all changes to records management software systems.

As types of record mediums change and evolve, Information Governance must stay informed and up-to-date on the proper control and overall management of these documents in order to follow retention schedule rules and guidelines

Internal Affairs

Internal Affairs
Internal Affairs

Lieutenant Russell Lewis

The Nebraska State Patrol's Internal Affairs is a component of the Professional Standards Division and is ultimately under the command of the Superintendent's Office. Internal Affairs provides the agency with a means of maintaining professional conduct, and is responsible for reviewing and processing complaints from within the agency as well as the public. The Division is also in charge of initiating administrative investigations into all allegations and misconduct. Complaints from the public may be made in person, by phone, through the State Patrol website, or by posted delivery to any of our following locations:

State Headquarters

1600 Highway 2

PO Box 94907

Lincoln, NE 58509

(402) 471-4545

Troop HQ - Lincoln

4130 NW 37 St

Lincoln NE  68524

(402) 471-4680

Troop A - Omaha

4411 S 108 St

Omaha NE  68137

(402) 331-3333

Troop B - Norfolk

1401 W Eisenhower Ave

Norfolk NE  68701

(402) 370-3456

Troop C - Grand Island

3431 W Old Potash Ave

Grand Island NE  68801

(308) 385-6000

Troop D - North Platte

Junction Highway 83 & I-80

PO Box 1265

North Platte NE  69103

(308) 535-8047

Troop E - Scottsbluff

4500 Avenue I

PO Box 1500

Scottsbluff NE  69363

(308) 632-1211

 

Legal

Legal
Legal

Formed in 1973 the Legal Division of the Nebraska State Patrol consists of three attorneys and one paralegal.

Nicole Hutter is Chief Legal Counsel for the Nebraska State Patrol.

Joining Hutter in the Legal Division are attorneys Mark Boyer and David Babcock.  Babcock joined the Division in 2015 and Boyer joined in early 2018. The Legal Division's paralegal is Kari Schmidt who has been with the department since 2002.

The attorneys and staff provide:

    • Legal training

    • Agency assistance with employment practices

    • The handling of claims and workers' compensation matters

    • The settling of vehicle accident cases

    • Policy review

    • Management advisement

    • The drafting and review of contracts and other legal documents

    • Legislation review

    • Legal research

    • Advisement to officers and prosecutors regarding criminal and traffic matters

    • The handling of public record requests and subpoena responses

    • Assistance with the civil defense of the agency

    • The handling of disciplinary appeals and other administrative hearings

Legislative Liason

Legislative Liason
Legislative Liason

The Legislative Liaison is a component of the Professional Standards Division and under the command of the Superintendent's Office. The purpose of the Legislative Liaison is to provide communication between the Nebraska State Patrol and the Nebraska Legislature.

The primary duty of the Legislative Liaison is to assist command administration in determining legislative priorities for the agency. This is accomplished by collecting and reviewing legislative recommendations from agency personnel and monitoring legislative bills that are introduced and being discussed within the legislative process.

The Legislative Liaison conducts research and provides information to legislative committees and senators regarding issues affecting the Nebraska State Patrol and law enforcement professionals within Nebraska. The Legislative Liaison works in cooperation with the Governor's Policy Research Office and serves as a member of the Legislative Liaison Group.

Public Records Requests

Public Records Requests
Public Records Requests

If you wish to make a request for public records please provide as much information as you can about the incident/accident you are inquiring about.

Please include:

                • Date

                • Time and place of incident/accident

                • Name of State Patrol employee involved (if available)

Public Records Requests should be in writing and may be submitted the following ways:

                • Fax to Nebraska State Patrol Legal Division at 402-479-4996

                • Email to kari.schmidt@nebraska.gov

                • Mail to: Nebraska State Patrol

                                Legal Division - Public Records Request

                                PO Box 94907

                                Lincoln NE  68509

Pursuant to Nebraska Law, written requests for information or photocopies are processed within four business days.  If a request is extensive or difficult to process within the four day period, the Nebraska State Patrol will provide you a written explanation, a good faith estimated completion date, and an estimated charge for requested records.  You will then have an opportunity to modify or prioritize your request.

Pursuant to Nebraska Law, if the request you are making involves a pending criminal case, your request may be denied until that case has been resolved.

The Nebraska State Patrol can charge a fee for records requested once the research time exceeds four hours.  The Nebraska State Patrol policy provides that cost for public records are billed at $38.00 per hour for computer technician time billed to the one-half hour and clerk time billed at $25.00 per hour billed to the one-half hour.  The cost for copies is $0.25 per page.  The agency may require a deposit before the request is fulfilled if the amount of the request exceeds $50.00.