How 791 Impacts the Hiring of Law Enforcement Officers
The passage of LB 791 in April of 2018 created some changes in how law enforcement agencies hire officers. LB 791 was codified into Nebraska Revised State 81-1456 & 81-1457. Please note that LB 791 is not retroactive. These changes apply only to employment changes after April 23, 2018.
I. Key points in LB 791
A. Change In Status form SHALL be submitted to the Training Center within 7 days of the action.
B. Required information on the form: The hiring of an employee; change in rank; leaving employment due to death, retirement, retirement due to incapacity (81-1403), retirement during an investigation. Resignation: in-lieu of termination; accepted law enforcement position with another agency, accepted a non-law enforcement position, and other. Dismissal: based on grounds for revocation, unable to meet agency standards, internal discipline.
C. Employment records must be kept for five years on former employees and for 10 years on former employees who had conduct which could constitute revocation.
D. Failure to comply with the above section of LB 791 constitutes Neglect of Duty.
The second section of 791 deals with hiring of officers. This includes the applicant completing the "Authority to Release Information to Prospective Employer" once they have received a conditional offer of employment.
II. Hiring of a Nebraska Certified Officer
A. When a Nebraska certified officer applies for a law enforcement position with a law enforcement agency, the agency administrator should first contact the NLETC to ascertain if a "791" report has been filed against the applicant. If a 791 report has been filed , that officer CANNOT be hired as a law enforcement officer until the report has been reviewed and a determination has been made on the merits of the report.
When an agency has determined that no 791 report has been filed and the applicant has met all of the agency's hiring standards, a conditional offer of employment can be extended to the applicant.
Once the conditional offer of employment has been extended, the applicant is statutorily required to provide the prospective employer with a signed,"Authority to Release Information to Prospective Employer" form which is available on this website under the "Forms" tab.
If the applicant does not provide the prospective employer with this form, they CANNOT be hired as a law enforcement officer with the agency.
Once the prospective employer has received this form from the applicant they send it to ALL of the applicant's previous law enforcement employers. Within ten (10) days of receiving the release, the previous employing agencies shall provided the prospective employing agency with records regarding the applicant. Previously, agencies would only provide dates of employment. With this statutory change agencies must now provide information regarding the applicant and his/her employment records.
Once the prospective employer has reviewed records from all previous law enforcement employers and determined that the applicant has passed a thorough background investigation as outlined in Title 79, Chapter 8,