OMAHA, Nebraska — Trooper Keith Bell of the Nebraska State Patrol wants more people to explore the patrol as a profession, but he acknowledges that it will be difficult.
“Some of the prior social justice concerns diminished the ardour for law enforcement, and we want to increase that,” he said.
For Bell, recruitment is a job within a job, consisting of communicating with new recruits and boosting the patrol’s diversity.
According to him, roughly twenty NSP members identify as members of a minority, and of those, seven are African American.
According to Bell, his primary objective is to recruit the first Black female to join the patrol; the representation is desperately required, according to potential applicants.
Rakeesha Barber stated, “The ability to have someone represent women of color is crucial because we simply do not see it.”
Kristen Prater’s encounter with law enforcement and subsequent interaction with a police officer who resembled her completely altered her perspective.
“An African-American woman took my case, and she truly helped me turn things around,” she explained.
Prater is currently considering a profession in criminal justice in order to serve as a mentor.
She stated, “It goes beyond being a probation officer and implementing the law.”
This success story is only one of the reasons why Bell believes the NSP needs greater diversity.
“We want to utilize this resource and recruit them to our organization,” he said. Additionally, we want our organization to mirror the communities we serve.
The Nebraska State Patrol’s website, statepatrol. nebraska.gov, contains information on how to apply to the NSP.