Chief's Leadership

Police Chief Lukens giving a speech

The Alliance Police Department strives in every way to make Alliance the best hometown in America. This means everything matters in our community and everything matters to the police. All calls are important and all people are important. Our department as a whole wrote our mission statement clearly establishing our commitment to all. Our core “EPIC” values illustrate our commitment to excellence, professionalism, integrity and compassion. Our vision of leadership through dedication of service means we do things differently than other agencies with the underlying goal of service. This is also the 11th word in the State of Nebraska Code of Ethics which every officer agrees to and swears to abide by.

With respect to the five main goals defined by the community and concurrent with the five goals of city council, the following programs have been implemented to ensure the three main goals of the police department are accomplished. These goals support and address the goals of the community and city council. The more focus on the first two goals, the less the third becomes relevant as it takes care of itself.

Graphic showing all programs Chief Lukens will be discussing on this page

State Grants Received:

  • Dashcams about $10,000 worth (Cameras for patrol cars)
  • PBT’s about $4,000 worth (Portable Breath Tester for DUI investigations)
  • Defibrillators $35,000 worth - Through our beat program a citizen knew of grants for defibrillators. We received one for each officer to carry as we are often first on scene for medical calls. I bring this up only because a few weeks ago an officer utilized it on a person who collapsed in Safeway and was able to reestablish a heartbeat saving a life all from the community participating in a meeting. 
  • We won a CIT State JAG grant for $50,000 a year for two years equaling $100,000. This money supplemented our overtime and training budgets for dispatch and patrol. We did have some unused funds that we released because the goal was complete in the second year. 
  • State COVID Grant $563,000 – This is the grant which software like the public facing data dashboard, the cameras across town, and software enhancements like our records management system which was more bare bones and now is very robust. It also paid for evidence lockers, dryer, and storage which we wouldn’t have had the funds for otherwise. This contributed significantly to crime reduction.

Federal grants and Programs:

  • COPS Grant – This funds four positions up to $753,758. This supplements salaries for up to three years and then we are required to fund the position 100% for one year. 
  • The MWRAP which is worth around $500,000 to $800,000 new. If we were to purchase an armored vehicle like a BearCat which is the basic civilian version it would cost $250,000.

Additional Grants Received:

  • Training grant ABLE, around $5,000 in training helping reduce use of force and inappropriate behavior in staff. 
  • CALEA provided a grant to offset initial implementation which was a savings of about $5,000
  • Rural Violent Crime Reduction Grant – $150,000. This grant supplements and offsets software purchases, training, and expert analysis. Many of the software licenses in our 2023 budget are being offset by this grant which pays over the next two years. 
  • Americorps grant through PAARI paying the salary for our PAARI representative. (This doesn’t cost the city anything and we receive all of the benefits!)

When I started in Alliance in March of 2021 we were rated one of the worst cities (#6) in the state to live :

As of March 2023 we are ranked #9 and the safest in Nebraska.  The community, the police and the grants have made a dramatic change in this community! 

The programs we have started in conjunction with our community:

  • Beat Program – Officers assigned to individual beats conducting quarterly meetings and hearing from our community
  • VIP’s – Volunteers in Policing. Our volunteers are actively helping from organization and paperwork to directing traffic for Heritage Days and everything in between like moving decoy cars, making repairs on the police building saving thousands of dollars, working community booths, meeting with residents, chaplains and victim advocates responding in times of crisis etc.
  • Faith & Blue – Coordinating with churches and hearing the voice of the community.
  • Coffee with a cop – Hosting coffee meetings with the community
  • National Night Out – Events and individual neighborhood meetings to solicit the community’s participation in crime prevention
  • Numerous public safety meetings
  • First DEA and Alliance PD Lacrosse Camp with Native Futures
  • High School Intern Service-Learning Project
  • Criminopoly – Rewards based system for community policing
  • Trusted Driver with Chamber – Rewards system for be caught driving well
  • Dairy Queen – Caught doing good, rewards system giving a gift card to Dairy Queen
  • Decoy Cars – Patrol cars parked in strategic locations throughout the city reducing crime. Citizens can also request them at various locations throughout the city.
  • Camera Trailer – Citizens can request it at various locations throughout the city.
  • HALO – Camera project across the city as a visual deterrent and crime reduction program.
  • PAARI – Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative to include multiple resources to help people overcome chemical dependency without the judicial system.
  • One Mind Pledge – All Staff became CIT certified reducing uses of force involving people experiencing mental health crisis.
  • ABLE – Duty to intervene, changing law enforcement culture and teaching how to intervene so unwanted behavior is not exhibited in staff.
  • KYF – Know Your Force, the active survey model sending surveys after calls for service and the QR code on all business cards helping us ensure quality service. I always say it’s not what we do, but how we do it.
  • ICAT – Integrated Communications and Tactics teaching our staff strategic repositioning to reduce use of force. 85% reduction in use of force in 2022
  • CALEA – Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, revising all department policies and procedures to be in line with national standards. Joined a very small percentage in the nation of law enforcement agencies to hold ourselves to this standard which is extremely difficult to achieve.
  • Lights On – Program providing vouchers for equipment violations on cars so they are repaired for free. Alliance Motors is the participating shop.
  • 911 Eye – Allowing dispatch with permission to access cell phone camera for instant view of incidents when someone calls 911.
  • Data Dashboard – Implemented a public facing dashboard giving daily account for police activity in the city.
  • Staff Mental Health Program – Have a contract with a law enforcement psychologist assisting staff to include a peer support program, exercise program and annual mental health checks.
  • Upgraded dispatch center to be on state system to include redundancy with other PSAP’s across the state ensuring optimal 911 service in crisis.
  • 30 x 30 pledge – Increase female officers to represent 30% of staff. Continuing to add female officers.
  • Alliance Shield – Partnership with New York Police and agencies across the nation providing real time intelligence on major incidents.
  • Hotel Partnership – Partnering with hotels in the city to provide temporary housing in extreme circumstances and
  • Alliance Christian Ministerial Alliance (ACMA) – Partnership on numerous events, programs, volunteers and provision for those in need.
  • Bystander App – Providing an app to the community for easier and anonymous reporting of issues from code enforcement and parking to potholes and power lights out.

Partnerships Established:

  • Region 1 Mental Health for CIT
  • Chief sits on IACP Leadership to Combat Human Trafficking Advisory Board
  • Chief sits on the WING Drug Task Force Board
  • DOVES – Signed first MOU with DOVES coordinating support for sexual assault and domestic violence
  • Maintain partnership with Alliance Public Schools
  • And multiple others

Awards and Recognition: