EXPLAINER: How often is a Nebraska law-enforcement certificate revoked?

According to data from the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center, few officers in the state have lost their law-enforcement certificates.
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 6:22 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha’s police chief fired an officer for conduct unbecoming and asked the state to revoke the officer’s law-enforcement certificate.

But just how often does it happen that law enforcement personnel are no longer allowed to serve as police officers in Nebraska?

The state has 4,300 active-duty law enforcement, and there are fewer than 10 every year who get their law enforcement certificate revoked.

Omaha Police Officer William Klees resigned this week the same day he was supposed to talk to internal affairs about allegations of dumping garbage on a woman’s car outside their apartment complex.

OPD Chief Todd Schmaderer said he would provide documentation to the Nebraska Crime Commission to see to it that Klees’ law-enforcement certificate is revoked.

But 6 News found out that this sort of thing doesn’t happen very often here.

“Over the last three years, we have certified 226 officers a year between the five academies,” said Brenda Urbanek, director of the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center in Grand Island.

The state averages 4,300 active officers at any time. She said those who lose their licenses account for a small percentage.

“At the Police Standards Advisory Council meeting this morning, they voted to revoke an officer, and the case number was 220,” she said.

That’s 220 officers over the course of 25 years who have had their certification revoked. That calculates to fewer than nine each year who lose their certification.

And once a police officer is stripped from being a cop in Nebraska, that means he or she cannot be an officer anywhere in the U.S.

Besides the Omaha officer, 6 News broke the story earlier this month of a former Nebraska State Patrol trooper in trouble with the law again: Brandon Dolezal is facing charges of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in Omaha.

NSP fired Dolezal last year — just three months after he graduated from the academy — after investigators allege he had nude photos of a number of local teenage girls on his phone.

“That’s an interesting case,” Urbanek said. “I’ve sat here and thought, ‘Maybe we should do an autopsy on how this person got into the profession.’ The agency he works for does a very, very thorough background investigation and subjected them to psychological evaluations.”

So how does Nebraska compare nationally or to other states? It’s really apples and oranges — there is no standard for this.

For example: Georgia has been revoking law-enforcement certificates for years. California just started last year.