5068 - Investigations and Arrests by Police or Other Law Enforcement Officers
Police or other law enforcement officers may be called to the service unit programs at the request of the administration, or may initiate contact with the service unit in connection with a criminal investigation. The service unit shall not allow law enforcement officers access to students to conduct an investigation during program hours unless the officers are investigating charges that the student has been the victim of abuse or neglect. Contact between the service unit and law enforcement authorities on matters involving students shall be made through the relevant program administrator and the law enforcement officer.
Law enforcement officers may talk to a student away from ESU 4 programs before or after instructional hours, and they should be encouraged to do so. Law enforcement officers shall be allowed to conduct an interview at the site of the ESU 4 program only when the interview is conducted at the request of the service unit or when they can show that special circumstances exist. This determination should be made by the appropriate program administrator or administrator of the service unit. Law enforcement officers should be permitted to interview students at a facility owned or operated by ESU 4 only after providing the appropriate administrator with a statement in writing that the law enforcement officer has reason to believe and does believe that the student is the victim of child abuse or neglect perpetrated by the child's parent(s) or some other member of the child's immediate family, and that the law enforcement official wishes to interview the student regarding such abuse or neglect.
Throughout this process, all attempts should be made to avoid embarrassing the student before his or her teachers and peers, and to avoid disrupting the student's and unit's education program.
- Law enforcement officers should be permitted to take custody of a student if they possess an arrest warrant or if they otherwise assert a lawful basis for doing so. Whenever possible, the arrest or release of the student should be conducted in an administrator's office and out of the view of other students. When an administrator or other staff member releases a minor student to a law enforcement officer for the purpose of removing the minor from ESU 4 premises, he or she shall take immediate steps to notify the parent, guardian, or other responsible adult regarding the release of the minor to the officer and the place to which the minor is reportedly being taken, except when a minor has been taken into custody as a victim of suspected child abuse. If the law enforcement officer indicates that the child is being taken into custody because the child is the victim of suspected child abuse, the relevant administrator shall, as a condition of releasing the student to the law enforcement officer, require the officer to sign the statement appended hereto certifying that the child is being removed from ESU 4's premises because he or she is believed to be the victim of child abuse and that the officer understands and will comply with the legal requirements of NEB. REV. STAT. § 79-294.
- Law enforcement personnel shall not be allowed to roam about the ESU 4 facility until the student is found, and shall remain in the administration office while staff seek the student.
- If possible, the education program of the student should not be disrupted to allow for police questioning of the student during class time.
- Any questioning by law enforcement officers that is permitted should be conducted in a private room or area where confidentiality can be maintained. This should be an area removed from observation by or contact with other pupils and staff members.
- If law enforcement officers are to be allowed to question a student under the age of 18, the relevant administrator shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the child's parents before questioning begins, except in cases of suspected child abuse or child neglect involving the parent or other family member. The parents should be given the opportunity to come to the facility prior to the questioning.
- If the parents are notified and are able to attend, they should be allowed to be present at the interview. The administrator should be present at the interview, but should not take part in any questioning. The administrator should remain a neutral observer at all times.
Adopted on: December 8, 2008
Revised on: _________________________
Reviewed on: October 8, 2012