September 2019 Leadership Lincoln County- Law Enforcement & Judicial System
LLC Session #2 Law Enforcement & Judicial System
It was an eye opener. That seemed to be the consensus at the end of the Leadership Lincoln County session on Law Enforcement and the Judicial System. The LLC participants spent the morning touring North Platte’s Public Safety Building and Lincoln County Detention Center. The afternoon session included a question and answer session with various department heads and a leadership discussion with Sheriff Kramer and Chief Hudson.
Getting to see the inner workings of the 911 Dispatch center and observe the operators hard at work was impressive. If you haven’t created a Smart911 profile yet, please do so. It saves valuable time and provides needed information during an emergency. Getting to see the Fire trucks up close is always a treat. The Firemen spend a lot of their 24-hour shift in training to make sure they are up to date on how to handle whatever emergency comes along. The back hallways at the police department provided insight into how evidence is processed and stored. Seeing the back seat of a police cruiser on a tour is definitely the closest you really want to get.
The Detention Center visit was a first for many of our group. We get so used to carrying phones with us everywhere we go that when someone tells you no keys, no phones, and no blades in your pockets on the tour, it makes you realize this isn’t going to be a walk in the park. It is definitely an intimidating facility. We got to see where inmates are processed. We walked through the blocks and got to observe the different levels of confinement. Everyone seemed to like seeing the jail cats! As an added bonus, we got to eat our lunch in the common area of Block E. With the inmates safe in their cells, we took over their tables. Brown plastic tray, orange squishy cup and spork in hand, we enjoyed a nice ham & cheese sandwich, pears, bean soup, coleslaw and a handful of corn chips. Some of our group was out of their comfort zone for sure. As a side note, the little white packet with your lunch is not salt or pepper, it’s grape drink mix.
Our afternoon panel discussion included law enforcement leaders from various agencies around Lincoln County – LCSO, FBI, UP, NPPD, NSP, NPFD as well as a public defender and a rookie state patrolman. The questions covered many topics. The difficulty in finding new recruits and getting them trained and up to speed was a concern for most of the panel. It can take up to 3 years to replace an officer because of all the training required. A lot of discussion centered around how the different organizations work together to serve and protect the people of Lincoln County. Mutual respect between agencies was obvious. The panel stressed work / life balance to maintain longevity in their careers. “You have to learn to laugh, because you can’t cry for 30 years”
Following the big panel, we had an in-depth leadership discussion with Sheriff Kramer and Chief Hudson. Both shared stories of how they got in to law enforcement and how they arrived at where they are today. They stressed personal growth and sometimes taking that job that you might fail at instead of always taking an easy path. Put your people in a position to succeed and they will. Sheriff Kramer talked about how the jail is not just a warehouse for inmates. They are just people who made a bad decision. Treat them like you would treat your family, like you would want to be treated. Chief Hudson stressed the importance of building trust with the community and always continuing to ‘make deposits’ to that trust.
Overall it was a very informative day. I think everyone came away with a better appreciation of how our law enforcement system functions.
Respectfully Submitted, Kevin McGahan, LLC CLASS 2019-2020