Don't I know you?

YES YOU DO

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EDUCATION

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FAMILY

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COMMUNITY

 
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MEET LELA

Born in the Sandhills of Custer County, NE, to Jack and Clara (Clang) Connely, I am a lifelong Nebraskan and Conservative who has served Nebraskans behind the scenes for over 28 years. 

I began my professional career in York, NE where I lived for 42 years before moving to Grand Island and eventually to Lincoln where my husband Jerry and I live.


My service to the State took me to the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services as a Corrections Officer and eventually an Emergency Preparedness Response Specialist and Crisis Negotiator for over 12 years inside our prison systems. I worked at Nebraska Correctional Center for Women, Airpark Treatment Center, Lincoln Correctional Center and eventually the Nebraska State Penitentiary.

I served Nebraskans through the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, training local, county and State first responders and multiple State agency employees in mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts to all hazards, from contagious animal disease with the LEDRS group, infrastructure failures and health emergencies. I worked tirelessly with the State's emergency management teams to keep Nebraskans and visitors to the State safe in times of Natural disasters, health emergencies and manufactured crisis. I also served Hall County and the City of Grand Island as local Emergency Manager and 9-1-1-Director keeping our State's third largest city's residents safe during the Pandemic H1N1 Bird flu, helping with the coordination of the Strategic National Stockpile, storage, and planned distribution to central Nebraska. I worked to help Hall County receive a significant Homeland Security grant. Besides managing the city/county Emergency Management/9-1-1 budgets, I managed a 1.8-million-dollar multi-year Homeland Security grant as well.

I served as Director of School Safety/Security for the Nebraska Department of Education for over 10 years, working to keep the students, educators, and schools in Nebraska’s school districts safe. I reviewed legislative bills directed to education in Rule 10 and coordinated a team of subject matter experts to help develop the State's educational date violence policy.

Budget cuts in education for the State left Nebraska children vulnerable with the elimination of the School Safety position. I would not give up the cause and worked with Nesbitt and Associates to develop “School Security Services.”  Together the N&A team developed up-to-date school safety plans and protocol for public and private schools across the State. As Senior Consultant I, along with others have trained thousands of educators across Nebraska to protect themselves, our children, and our schools. I believe my efforts and dedication to our children, teachers and, schools across Nebraska have worked to create a safer learning environment for our students. The system developed and presented to our schools allow educators to know how to better respond in a crisis regardless of where they teach in the State.

I am a small business owner in Nebraska and President/CEO of Global Strategic Security Solutions, GS₃, LLC. GS₃ teaches safety planning, implementing a business model of plan, train, exercise and sustain. I am a regular guest speaker at various local, county, regional, state, and national conferences. I spoke at the Nebraska Municipal Clerks Institute and Academy to help the State's villages, towns and cities be more prepared for the pandemic and again for situational awareness to assist in civil unrest.

I am grateful to be able to be an Adjunct Professor in the School of Criminal Justice and Criminology for the University of Nebraska-Omaha as a subject matter expert on school violence.

I have served on the Governor’s Nebraska Infrastructure Protection Committee; Great Plains Chapter of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP); Governor’s appointee to the United States Attorney’s, Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC); and the Nebraska Suicide Prevention Coalition.

I am a graduate from York College and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney;  Certificate in Homeland Security Studies from Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; Emergency Preparedness Response Certificate, from Law Enforcement Training Research Associates (LETRA), Campbell, California; Certification in National Incident Management Systems (NIMS), Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Programs (HSEEP), and Professional Development Series of Emergency Management from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Emergency Management from the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA).

I have focused on creating a safer Nebraska for all residents and visitors to our great State.

Together, my husband Jerry and I have five daughters and seven grandchildren, creating a total of seven generations to make Nebraska their home.


 

Who I really am

 
 

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