NEBRASKA CITY- Nebraska City Police Chief Dave Lacy presented what some might consider a grim outlook on the current state of law enforcement to the Rotary Club of Nebraska City.

Chief Lacy addressed the current social and political climate and how it is affecting law enforcement in the state of Nebraska. He stated that there is a perception with current officers, and those considering entering the field that law enforcement is being attacked and is unfairly scrutinized.  This has been a detriment to many agencies, as there are very low application numbers for new individuals who are wanting to enter the profession. 

Chief Lacy also said that law enforcement can be it's own worst enemy when individuals do not adhere to the high standard that they hold for themselves.  To maintain that high standard Lacy outlined that in Nebraska new training procedures are being implemented. 

Some such training involves new policies for use of force, terminate force, and intervening force.  In Nebraska City, officers now have the duty to stop other agencies or officers who they feel are using excessive force. 

Anti-Bias and internal investigation training have been put in place as well. 

Other changes that are occurring, are that police departments in Nebraska must be accredited by the Crime Commission in order to receive grants and loans. 

Lacy's biggest concern was the issue surrounding qualified immunity.  In the past if an officer feared for their life and took the action they felt was necessary to protect themselves, they would be protected by the court from frivolous lawsuits.  However, that protection is now being questioned, opening up law enforcement to face civil action regardless of if any criminal action was involved.