Sarpy County Law Enforcement Forms 'Force Investigation Team'

Sept. 7, 2021, 8 a.m. ·

Sarpy County Sheriff Department SUV. The car has a logo on the side. the car is black and white with a light on the top.
Sarpy County Law Enforcement Agency have started an Investigative Team for police force incidents. (Photo courtesy Sarpy County Sheriff)

Five law enforcement agencies in Sarpy County are collaborating to form a ‘Force Investigation Team.’

The team will investigate cases where an officer uses force and ‘serious bodily injury or death’ occurs. Members of the Sarpy County Attorney’s Office, Sarpy County Sheriff’s Department, and the Papillion, Bellevue, and La Vista Police Departments make up the unit.

Bonnie Moore is a Chief Deputy Sarpy County Attorney and said the idea for the team came from other teams within law enforcement.

“There was some success with other collaborative teams, like the S.W.A.T team,” she said. “We also have the team that goes out on crashes, the crash team.”

Moore said it made sense to use the same logic to investigate police-civilian incidents involving force. The Sarpy County departments modeled their policies based on a similar team and former investigator at the Las Vegas Police Department.

She said members of the team won’t be allowed to investigate incidents involving their own department.

“What we’ve built into this team is policies and procedures,” Moore said, “and adding in that additional impartiality element with having different agencies investigating an incident rather than having the host agency investigate it.”

Moore said the program puts faith in the impartiality of police officers and hopes it will increase trust between civilians and law enforcement.

She said there are similar investigative units in the state, but the Sarpy County team is unique because there are numerous jurisdictions involved.

The ‘Force Investigative Team’ is currently ready to begin investigations in Sarpy County.