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Governor Comments on Refusal to Implement State Patrol Reforms
Nebraska Ag Connection - 10/12/2017

Governor Pete Ricketts' Office issued a statement following communication from the State Law Enforcement Bargaining Council (SLEBC) rejecting a call to negotiate needed reform. In August, the Governor's Office released a report which called for new measures to hold Nebraska State Patrol Officers more accountable.

"The Governor is focused on ensuring that the State Patrol is above reproach through reforms that provide transparency and accountability," said Taylor Gage, the Governor's spokesman. "This letter is a clear declaration from the union that they want to be a part of the status quo rather than work together to move the agency forward. The Governor's team is evaluating alternative strategies to implement these necessary reforms."

The Nebraska State Patrol union board has rejected a request by Ricketts to reopen State Patrol contract negotiations to talk about changes to the agency's internal investigations processes.

Brian Petersen, president of the State Law Enforcement Bargaining Council, sent a letter to the Ricketts administration's chief contract negotiator, William Wood, saying the decision was made out of respect for the bargaining process agreed to by both the union and the state.

Issues brought forward in August, after a State Patrol review by Jason Jackson, the state's chief human resources officer, are already addressed in the collective bargaining agreement, Petersen said. That includes provisions governing internal investigations.

The August report recommended that the Governor's Chief Negotiator at the Department of Administrative Services should immediately seek to work with SLBEC representatives to remove provisions governing internal investigations from the SLEBC contract. The report said: "It is in both parties' interests to instill in the public confidence that [the] State Patrol's conduct is above reproach."

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