FALLS CITY – The chair of the state Legislature’s Judicial Committee said she was impressed with a turnout of over 200 people at Tuesday’s Take Back Our Community meeting in Falls City and said it will be a reference point for her.
Ebke: “I’m certain that the folks here are frustrated. I mean you could feel the frustration here. I think it’s probably not unlike what’s happening in a lot of small towns that have reduced in size. ”
The two-hour meeting featured a presentation by Community Medical Center regarding mental health assistance and questions from citizens. On the platform were Ebke, State Sen. Dan Watermeier, Richardson County Assistant Attorney Samantha Scheitel and Shane Stutzman, Jacey Rader and Ashley Griess of state probation.
Citizens voiced concern about how Nebraska sets bail amounts, repeat offenders and the capacity of probation to solve crime issues.
Ebke encouraged citizens to bring their ideas for solving issues within the first 10 days of the legislative session.
She said despite declining state revenue and demands for tax relief, Nebraska may need to spend more money for probation services.
Ebke: “Certainly probation is going to have to be a higher priority. We need to be able to provide more probation officers as long as we’re going to maintain the framework of LB605, which suggests that we should have a presumption for lower-level crimes of probation rather than prison.”
Ebke expects to work with probation to bring a bill next year that will identify how many probation officers the state needs.