What are the Requirements for Becoming a Police Officer in Nebraska?
Nebraska is a promising place for workers with its cost of living 5.5 percent lower than the national average. Since 2000, the population of the state has grown by 11%. This could be a rewarding career for wannabe police officers with nearly 3,390 cops and sheriff’s deputies already working full time. The potential law enforcement recruits in Nebraska are required to meet minimum standards of the law enforcement certification as stipulated under PSAC, Nebraska’s Police Standards Advisory Council.
What is the Nebraska Police Standards Advisory Council?
It is a standing committee of the Crime Commission or Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.
This organization takes care of the qualifying standards and issues relating to certification of law enforcement officers in Nebraska including setting the standards, training, and rules. The Council has the power to revoke the certificates of the officers if they do not meet the requirements of the Council.
The Governor appoints the Council members for a tenure of 4 years. There are seven voting members in the Council including six law enforcement professionals. The seventh member is a citizen at large or could alternatively come from the Jail Standards Boards. The members meet every month on the third Wednesday at the training center.
Nebraska Police Academy Requirements
- Minimum age 21 before joining
- Must be a U.S. Citizen
- Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
- Must have Nebraska’s Driver’s Licence
- Minimum 11th-grade reading and writing level
Nebraska Police Academy Background Investigation
It is mandatory for the candidates to pass a background investigation at any Nebraska police station. During the background investigation, it will be checked whether
- The applicant has been convicted or (pardoned) for a crime including Class1 Misdemeanors punishable with one year or more imprisonment term.
- The applicant has been involved and convicted in cases related to DWI/DUI within two years before the admission.
- The applicant was earlier in the armed forces and dishonorably discharged from there.
- The applicant has been implicated in the state of Nebraska for any misdemeanor.
- The applicant has been convicted on the charge of sexual assault.
- The applicant has been convicted on the charge of domestic violence.
Nebraska Police Academy Physical and Academic Exams
In order to be admitted to the police training program, the applicants have to pass (i) an examination to test their proficiency in reading and writing, and (ii) a physical fitness test. The physical fitness test includes a 1.5-mile run, push-ups, a 300-meter sprint, sit-ups, and a vertical jump.
In addition to these pre-entry tests, the recruits have to pass a number of exams including physical and academic exams, while undergoing training in the police academy. They must pass these exams comprehensively before they eventually graduate and become officers.
Programs for Aspiring Candidates
Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Commission runs several programs including College Cooperative Program and 14-week Basic Course Program to help potential candidates pursue their dream of becoming a police officer.
The college cooperative program runs in a number of community colleges that offers a course in Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. Some of the community colleges offering this program include Western Nebraska Community College, Southeast Community College, Northeast Community College, Mid-Plains Community College, Metropolitan Community College, and Central Community College. After completing this course, a student can join the 14-week Basic Course before being eventually hired as an entry-level officer.
A candidate can download the required checklist from the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center (NLETC). They will need to submit these required documents to get admitted in the training program. The application form will show that the candidate has completed the background investigation and medical tests.