LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) – Nebraska State Patrol’s superintendent responded to requests and accusations made by the troopers’ union, stating that all deployed to the border volunteered for the assignment.
Earlier this month, Gov. Pete Ricketts said he would send about 25 Nebraska State Patrol troopers to Del Rio, Texas, to help the crisis along the United States and Mexico border.
“When an initial request for volunteers was sent out, we received many more responses than we needed to fill the EMAC request. In fact, we had nearly 50 additional volunteers offer their service for this mission,” Col. John A. Bolduc said in his letter to the State Troopers Association of Nebraska dated Tuesday.
Addressing each item in his response, Bolduc also said in the letter that those sent on the special assignment would receive “shift differential pay” as NSP worked with the union to work toward agreeable “detached duty” pay rates.
In a letter sent earlier this week to its members, STAN’s president provided a list of concerns that he asked NSP and state officials to address, including: proper equipment and training, a period of time to get acclimated, proper counseling and peer support, proper legal representation and guidance, and proper pay.
Regarding concerns about “proper counseling and peer support,” Bolduc noted that three of the deployed troopers were members of NSP’s Peer Support Team.
“They will be a great resource to our Troopers, plus they will have the benefit of having the same shared experience with the rest of our deployed team,” he said in the letter.
Bolduc said the team had been properly equipped, commending NSP supply and accounting personnel on their quick turnaround after the governor’s order was issued.
He said the team members also had been paired with Texas troopers “to help them become familiar with the area of responsibility as well as the mission set,” and noted he was open to suggestions of other methods that might help with the union’s “training and acclimatization” requests.
He also noted that NSP’s legal team was able to assist any deployed troopers “via the same avenues it is for personnel on duty in Nebraska,’ and said that their legal counsel had been working with deployed command staff and counterparts in Texas “on legal matters as they arise.”