A professionalism program that began in the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center is expanding across the state.
A $40,000 grant awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance will bring Blue Courage to a range of officers.
Darrell Fisher, State Crime Commission director, says the program also stresses the importance of good police-community relationships.
“We want our young officers, as well as to reinvigorate our veteran officers, to remind them why they came here and that’s service. The idea of law enforcement is about service,” Fisher told reporters at a news conference.
He says another goal of Blue Courage is to improve the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of officers.
The offering began as a pilot program at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center.
Bill Muldoon, the Center’s director, says he wants new recruits to know their impact.
“We teach them to do certain things. Some of them can be very mundane – making a traffic stop – but you do make impact on people’s lives,” Muldoon says. “They’ll remember for a lifetime the courtesy that was shown to them.”
Nebraska State Patrol Superintendent Brad Rice says the 19 new troopers, who graduated last week, all received the training and veteran troopers will too.
“So that our new recruits and troopers come out and hit the road, they’re talking the same language as our veteran officers,” Rice says.
Troopers who go through regular, annual training will get the Blue Courage training a piece at a time, instead of having the full, 16 hour-long course in one sitting, according to Rice.
Officers within the Omaha and Lincoln police departments have also had some or all of the training.