Herbster Earns State Troopers Endorsement | Regional government

Pledging to make law enforcement a top priority and promising to support officers with increased pay, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster won an endorsement from the State Troopers Association of Nebraska on Tuesday.

With a growing decline in the number of State Patrol officers, Herbster said, “it’s obvious to me that we’re not living up to our commitments to state troopers.”

“Our #1 thing is law enforcement,” he said, pledging his support for “our state troopers and a safe Nebraska.”

“They know I have my back,” Herbster said.

Former State Patrol Col. Tom Nesbitt joined Herbster, along with about 20 other current or former law enforcement officers and family members, none appearing in uniform, to demonstrate their support for the Falls City agribusiness.

Herbster is “a law and order guy,” Nesbitt said. “Charles understands what needs to happen.

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“In order to retain the soldiers, we are going to have to pay the soldiers,” he said.

The dwindling state patrol force is “down 60 troops,” Nesbitt said.

Herbster said “drug abuse is on the rise, mental illness is on the rise, crime is on the rise (and) America is falling apart”.

National challenges include “election integrity” and the need to close borders, he said. A trillion dollars worth of illegal drugs crossed the southern border in 2021, Herbster said.

Supporters said state patrol salaries should be at least comparable to salaries paid to law enforcement officers in metropolitan areas of Nebraska and that “some commitments were made” to the State Troopers Association to get approval.

Outside sources said an apparent agreement on a proposed increase in the state’s contribution to the state patrol’s retirement fund would require an additional $5 million annual appropriation by the state.

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