Ricketts orders review of Nebraska State Patrol

Gov. Pete Ricketts with Chief Human Relations Officer Jason Jackson outside State Patrol headquarters (Photo by Fred Knapp, NET News)
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June 23, 2017 - 5:12pm

Following several recent controversies involving the Nebraska State Patrol, Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Friday he’s ordered a review of the patrol’s policies, procedures and leadership.

Ricketts announced the review standing outside State Patrol headquarters in Lincoln. He referred to several controversies about the Patrol that have surfaced recently. One was an article in the Omaha World-Herald about the Patrol’s internal investigation of a high-speed chase that led to the death of a driver in Sheridan County last October. The newspaper reported that it was initially described as a “tactical vehicle intervention” to try and force the fleeing vehicle to spin out, but that was later changed to describe it as an accident. Ricketts said another controversy involves a grievance filed by a labor union over expired warranties on bulletproof vests.

“We can do better. We’ve got an opportunity to improve how we run our operations here at the Nebraska State Patrol,” he said.

Ricketts said he’s asked Chief Human Resources Officer Jason Jackson to lead the review. Jackson said his experience as a naval officer who had looked into allegations of impropriety within several commands  would help in this review. “The intent will be comprehensive in nature – a complete review of everything ranging from the policies, procedures, practices, training, leadership performance, all of which influence organizational performance,” Jackson said.

Sen. Ernie Chambers has called for Ricketts to fire Col. Brad Rice, the head of the Patrol. Ricketts said he still has faith in Rice, whom he appointed. Rice did not attend the announcement, but in a statement issued by the governor’s office, called the review an “important step” to ensuring the Patrol achieves its goal of protecting public safety.



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