The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services is committed to the security and safety of the public, staff and inmates within the managed facilities. In 2001 the Division of Emergency Preparedness was created in order to supervise a diverse group of programs that directly affect the safety and security of the facilities. The Division is supervised by the Emergency Management Supervisor and is located at the Department's Central Office. The areas of supervision include, Emergency Preparedness, CERT/SORT/CNT, Criminal Investigations, Drug Interdiction, and Security Threat Group identification and monitoring.
Emergency Preparedness is a comprehensive system that requires a continuous commitment to personnel and resources to ensure a systematic approach to responding to emergencies. Key to the success of the Emergency Preparedness program are the full time staff at the Department level as well as the facility level that ensure the Department's readiness to respond through emergency policy, planning, training, checklists and exercises. Essential to the success of a response to a facility emergency are the specially trained teams. The teams consist of two Department wide teams ‚ Special Operations Response Team (SORT) and the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) and the institutional based Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT).
In 1995, the Department adopted the LETRA model for developing and implementing an Emergency Preparedness program. The program today includes an aggressive training and exercise schedule to ensure that staff are ready to respond to all types of emergencies in a safe manner. The program consists of full time Emergency Specialists who are responsible for institutional emergency plans and checklists, training and quarterly emergency exercises/drills. Each new employee receives 8 hours of emergency preparedness training and each staff person receives 4 hours of emergency preparedness annual refresher training. A 4-day emergency preparedness course is conducted quarterly for newly promoted supervisors. A 3 day advanced emergency preparedness course is conducted annually for those staff that may be considered Commanders in an emergency. The emergency preparedness program meets the National Incident Management System requirements.
The Department Investigation program is committed to the investigation and prosecution of all criminal activity by either staff or inmates. The Department has two full time investigators that are law enforcement certified and have the power to arrest and detain. The Department Investigators work closely with the facility staff in developing information and they also work closely with outside agencies i.e. Nebraska State Patrol, local law enforcement and County Attorneys.
The Department has a zero tolerance policy on the use of drugs by inmates and staff. The Drug Interdiction program works towards that goal by employing a multi-faceted approach. The program consists of information gathering and sharing, telephone monitoring, random and targeted urinalysis testing on staff and inmates, K-9 searches and the Drug Offender Classification program.
The security threat group affiliation of each newly committed inmate is checked and verified during the intake process. A file is created and sent with the inmate when transferred to a facility. Each facility has an identified security threat group coordinator who monitors and evaluates gang activity. This information is reported monthly to the Emergency Management Supervisor and this information is placed in the information data base.
The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services Honor and Color Guard Unit was started in 2003 to proved a service to staff, staff families and the community. The Honor Guard Unit can serve as pallbearers or as an honor unit at funerals and memorial services for active or retired Nebraska Department of Correctional Services employees. The Color Guard performs at facility dedications, groundbreakings, staff retirements, parades, conferences, and other activities as requested and approved by the Director.
Emergency Management Supervisor
NE Department of Correctional Services
P.O. Box 94661
Lincoln, NE 68509-4661
Phone: (402) 479-5617