Unbiased Policing and Cultural Competency

As noted in the section on our hiring process, officers are thoroughly vetted for indicators of racist or sexist behaviors, actions, or conduct. After the candidate is hired, the Lincoln Police Department uses extensive training to ensure officers are properly prepared to serve our community in a fair and unbiased manner.


All Lincoln Police officers are required to complete unbiased policing training both in the Lincoln Police Recruit Academy as well as continuing education during in-service training sessions. This training involves lectures, discussions, and scenario-based exercises. The purpose of the training includes:

  • Recognizing that even well-intended people have biases
  • Understanding that implicit bias may impact our decisions
  • Learning tools to recognize conscious and implicit biases and utilizing those tools to apply a controlled, unbiased response

Additionally, LPD recruit officers attend numerous cultural competency courses, including a Cultural Awareness day where the recruits visit each of Lincoln's cultural and community centers. Recruit officers are also trained in assisting people who are deaf, the proper steps to take to communicate with non-English speakers, and serving the LGBTQ community.

This training continues past the recruit academy as veteran LPD officers continue to complete ongoing cultural competency training each year. During these training sessions, members of the community are invited to present and instruct officers on cultural aspects and practices. This training helps in informing officers of cultural practices of which they might not otherwise be aware. It also aids LPD in developing relationships and breaking barriers to engagement with the many different cultural groups which we have in our community.

The attention to this topic does not end with training. In the last five years, we have also partnered with researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and Doane University to analyze our hiring process and use of control data. The researchers found no evidence of racial bias in our hiring process. They also found that LPD officers use the same levels of control when dealing with resisting suspects regardless of the race of the suspect. We will continue to ask these researchers to monitor our data moving forward. We believe this added level of independent review is important to continuing to build trust with all members of our community.

Expectations related to fair and impartial policing

The Lincoln Police Department is dedicated to serving our community in a fair and equitable manner. Officers shall not use race, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, age, or cultural group as motivating factors for law enforcement decisions, unless these classifications comprise part of a suspect description.

In compliance with Nebraska law, officers record data about all traffic stops for statistical and analytical purposes. The department will also fully investigate any complaint regarding bias or disparate treatment relating to the above listed classifications. Each allegation of racial profiling, including the investigation and disposition of the allegation, is also forwarded by LPD's Internal Affairs sergeant to the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. No identifying information about the complainant is included in the information sent to the Commission.