Gov. Dave Heineman announced Wednesday the appointment of Sen. Mike Friend of Omaha as the first director of the new Nebraska Office of Violence Prevention.
Gov. Heineman will appoint someone to serve out the remainder of Friend's current term, which ends next year. Friend, a Republican representing Omaha's 10th District, was first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. He begins his new job on Monday.
The Office of Violence Prevention is part of an anti-crime package passed during the last session of the Legislature. Friend's main goal will be developing programs to keep kids out of trouble.
"I care deeply about the gun violence and the things that are going on in general in our communities. The problem that they present in our communities, I think this position will give me a chance to deal with those problems specifically."
Friend will earn $70,000 a year as director.