The concept of a state police chiefs association was a vision of Jim Ruberson, a former Police Chief from Hastings. PCAN was established in 1987 under the leadership of Jim Ruberson. It was through Jim’s initiative and persistence that the Police Chiefs Association of Nebraska, PCAN, was established. Jim traveled the State visiting with the many Police Chiefs promoting the need for an organization that would represent them.
The Association experienced the typical growing pains of any new organization. Issues such as what to name the organization, whether to be a separate organization or a division of the Police Officers Association of Nebraska, and the drafting of bylaws were just to name a few.
An early initiative of PCAN was to establish a State accreditation process that would give departments which could not afford national accreditation the opportunity to acquire recognition for adhering to professional standards. The concept of agency accreditation lost momentum over the years and eventually the State accreditation program was ended. Several police departments received state accreditation through PCAN while the program existed.