Mental Health Practice

A Independent Mental Health Practice license is required if you provide treatment, assessment, psychotherapy, counseling, or equivalent activities to individuals, couples, families, or groups for behavioral, cognitive, social, mental, or emotional disorders, including interpersonal or personal situations. 

Independent mental health practice includes diagnosing major mental illness or disorder, using psychotherapy with individuals suspected of having major mental or emotional disorders, or using psychotherapy to treat the concomitants of organic illness, with or without consultation with a qualified physician or licensed psychologist.

Independent mental health practice does not include the practice of psychology or medicine, prescribing drugs or electroconvulsive therapy, treating physical disease, injury, or deformity, or measuring personality or intelligence for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment planning.

A Mental Health Practice license is required if a person provides treatment, assessment, psychotherapy, counseling, or equivalent activities to individuals, couples, families, or groups for behavioral, cognitive, social, mental, or emotional disorders, including interpersonal or personal situations; and includes the initial assessment of organic mental or emotional disorders for the purpose of referral or consultation. (continued description)

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        Us
        Marriage/Family Counseling
        Professional Counseling
        Social Work
        Other
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      How to file and the Process
burgandyball.jpgContinuing Education
burgandyball.jpgDuplicates/Reissue
burgandyball.jpgExamination Information
burgandyball.jpgExpiration Dates/Continuing Education
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     Disciplining License
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burgandyball.jpg License Types
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burgandyball.jpg Marriage/Family Therapist Requirements

burgandyball.jpg Mental Health Practice Licensing Requirements
burgandyball.jpg Misdemeanor/Felony Convictions or Licensure Discipline
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     License/Certificate Types
burgandyball.jpgPractice Definitions

burgandyball.jpg Professional Counselor  Requirements
burgandyball.jpg Provisionally Licensed Mental Health

     Practitioner Requirements
burgandyball.jpgProvisionally Certified Master Social

      Worker Requirements
burgandyball.jpgRules & Regs/Statutes

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        Master Social Worker Requirements
        Social Work Requirements
burgandyball.jpgUnprofessional Conduct

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Mental Health Practice continued.....

Mental health practice does not include:

  1. The practice of psychology or medicine;
  2. Prescribing drugs or electroconvulsive therapy;
  3. Treating physical disease, injury, or deformity;
  4. Diagnosing major mental illness or disorder except in consultation with a qualified physician or licensed clinical psychologist;
  5. Measuring personality or intelligence for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment planning;
  6. Using psychotherapy with individuals suspected of having major mental or emotional disorders except in consultation with a qualified physician or licensed clinical psychologist; or
  7. Using psychotherapy to treat the concomitants of organic illness except in consultation with a qualified physician or licensed clinical psychologist.

After 9/1/95, no person shall engage in mental health practice or hold himself or herself out as a mental health practitioner unless he or she is licensed or meets one of the exceptions to licensure.

Licensure Exceptions: Click PDF Filehere for a listing of exceptions from licensure as a mental health practitioner.

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License Types

Independent Mental Health Practitioner (LIMHP):

A.  Accredited Program: 

     A person shall be qualified to be a licensed independent mental health practitioner if he or she: 
    1. Graduated with a master's or doctoral degree from an educational program which is accredited, at the time of graduation or within four years after graduation, by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, or the Council on Social Work Education

or graduated with a master's or doctoral degree from an educational program deemed by the board to be equivalent in didactic content and supervised clinical experience to an accredited program; and

  1. Is licensed as a provisional mental health practitioner or a licensed mental health practitioner; and
  2. Has three thousand hours of experience obtained in a period of not less than two nor more than five years and supervised by a licensed physician, a licensed psychologist, or a licensed independent mental health practitioner, one-half of which is comprised of experience with clients diagnosed under the major mental illness or disorder category;

 OR

 B.   Non-Accredited Program:

       1.  Graduated from an educational program which does not meet the requirements of 1A
             above; and

       2.  Is licensed as a provisional mental health practitioner or a mental health practitioner; and

       3.  Has seven thousand hours of experience obtained in a period of not less than ten years and
            supervised by a licensed physician, a licensed psychologist, or a licensed independent mental
            health practitioner, one-half of which is comprised of experience with clients diagnosed
            under the major mental illness or disorder category.

The experience required in A or B above shall be documented in a reasonable form and manner as prescribed by the board, which may consist of sworn statements from the applicant and his or her employers and supervisors. The board shall not in any case require the applicant to produce individual case records.

Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP): A License as a mental health practitioner is required if a person holds himself/herself out as qualified to engage in mental health practice or offers or renders mental health practice services.

Click here for License Requirements, Application Process, Examination Information, and Renewal Process. (172 NAC 94)

Provisionally Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (PLMHP): A provisional license as a mental health practitioner is required when a person is obtaining the required 3,000 hours of supervised experience in mental health practice in order to meet the requirements for a license as a mental health practitioner.

Click here for Provisional License Requirements and Application Process.   (172 NAC 94)

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Certification Types

In addition to a license as a Mental Health Practitioner, Nebraska also provides for associated certificates in Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work.

Certified Marriage and Family Therapist (CMFT): If you use the title ‘certified marriage and family therapist’ or represent yourself as certified marriage and family therapist, you must apply for a MFT certification.

  • You can not independently hold a certificate as a marriage and family therapist. To obtain the CMFT, you must also hold a license as a mental health practitioner.
  • A person who is licensed as a mental health practitioner and certified as a marriage and family therapist may use the title licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT).

Click here for Certification Requirements, Application Process, and Renewal Process.   (172 NAC 94)

Certified Professional Counselor (CPC): If you use the title ‘certified professional counselor’ or represent yourself as certified professional counselor, you must apply for a PC certification.

  • You can not independently hold a certificate as a professional counselor. To obtain the CPC, you must also hold a license as a mental health practitioner.
  • A person who is licensed as a mental health practitioner and certified as a professional counselor may use the title licensed professional counselor.

Click here for Certification Requirements and Application Process. (172 NAC 94)

Social Worker: If you use the title ‘social worker’ or represent yourself as a social worker, you must apply for certification.  Social work practice or the practice of social work is the professional activity of helping individuals, groups, and families or larger systems such as organizations and communities to improve, restore, or enhance their capacities for personal and social functioning and the professional application of social work values, knowledge, principles, and methods.

A person who provides only social work activities is not required to be licensed as a mental health practitioner. Chick here for information relating specifically to social work. (172 NAC 94)

There are 2 separate certifications:

  1. Certified Social Worker (CSW): A CSW is a person who has received a baccalaureate or masters degree in social work. A certified social worker can not practice independently, he/she is required to practice under supervision – the statutes do not mandate the type of supervisor or the credentials of said supervisor.

Click here for a Complete definition of Social Work, CSW Certification Requirements, Application Process, and Renewal Process. (172 NAC 94)

  1. Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW): A CMSW is a person who has received a masters or doctorate degree in social work, has 3000 hours of experience and has passed the examination.  A CMSW may practice independently.
  • A certified master social worker who only practices within the confines of the definition of social work is not required to also be licensed as a mental health practitioner.
  • You can not independently hold a certificate as a master social worker if you provide mental health services. Thus, if you wish to represent yourself as CMSW and provide mental health services, you must obtain a CMSW and a LMHP.
  • A person who is licensed as a mental health practitioner and certified as a master social worker may use the title licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).

Click here for the Complete definition of Social Work, CMSW Certification Requirements, Application Process, and Renewal Process. (172 NAC 94)

Provisionally Certified Master Social Worker (PCMSW): a person who is obtaining the 3,000 hours of supervised experience in social work in order to meet the requirements for a certificate as a Certified Master Social Worker.

  • You can not independently hold a provisional certificate as a master social worker if you provide mental health services. Thus, if you wish to represent yourself as PCMSW and provide mental health services, you must obtain a PCMSW and a PLMHP.

Click here for Provisional Certification Requirements and Application Process. (172 NAC 94)

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Fees

 Fee Schedule

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Expiration Dates and Continuing Education (CE) Requirements

License Type Expiration Date CE
Licensed Mental Health Practitioner September 1st of even years 32 hours (two of the 32 hours must relate to mental health practice ethics)
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner September 1st of even years 32 hours (two of the 32 hours must relate to mental health practice ethics)
Provisionally Licensed Mental Health Practitioner 5 years from date of issuance 0 hours
Certified Marriage & Family Therapist, Certified Master Social Worker, and Certified Professional Counselor (with LMHP)

September 1st of
even years

No additional hours above those for LMHP
Provisional Certified Master Social Worker 5 years from date of issuance 0 hours
Certified Master Social Worker (no LMHP) September 1st of even years 32 hours
Certified Social Worker September 1st of even years 32 hours

All mental health practitioner licensees and persons who hold an associated certificate are required to obtain at least 32 hours of continuing education by 9/1 of each even numbered year.  If you hold both a LMHP and an associated certificate in MFT, PC and/or SW, you are not required to earn separate hours for each license and certificate that you hold.

Click PDF Filehere for information relating to continuing education.

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Applications

These forms may be completed online; however, they cannot be submitted via e-mail as all applications and forms require original signatures. If you complete the form online, you must print the form and mail it to the address listed.

Fees (if applicable) are payable to the Licensure Unit.

Licensure Unit
PO Box 94986
Lincoln, NE 68509-4986

PDF File Change in Supervisor of a Provisional License/Certificate

  • Provisional Mental Health Practitioner
  • Provisional Master Social Worker

PDF File Duplicates/Reissue
PDF File Examination Accommodation Request Form
PDF File Examination Registration

  • AMFTRB (MFT examination)
  • NBCC (NCE or NCMHCE counselor examination)
  • ASWB (SW examination)

PDF File Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
PDF File Mental Health Practice License
PDF File Mental Health Practice License Reinstatement
PDF File Mental Health Practice License based on Reciprocity (License in another State)
PDF File Name Change Form
PDF File Provisional License/Certificate

  • Mental Health Practitioner
  • Master Social Worker

PDF File Social Work Certificate

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Practice Definitions

To view the following definitions, click here. (172 NAC 94-002)

  • Assessment
  • Associated Certificate
  • Client or Client System
  • Code of Ethics
  • Consultation
  • Direct Client Contact
  • Inactive
  • Internship or Practicum
  • Lapsed
  • Major Mental Disorder
  • Mental Health Practice
  • Psychotherapy
  • Supervision
  • Supervisor
  • Qualified Physician

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Grounds for Denial of a License and Disciplining a License

The PDF FileUniform Credentialing Act, provides several grounds by which the Department may deny, refuse renewal of, limit, suspend, or revoke licenses; one of which is:

Conviction of a misdemeanor or felony under state law, federal law, or the law of another jurisdiction and which, if committed within this state, would have constituted a misdemeanor or felony under state law and which has a rational connection with the applicant's, or licensee's fitness or capacity to practice the profession.

To view a listing of all grounds, click PDF Filehere. (Uniform Credentialing Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 38-177 to 38-197)

Probationary or Limited License: The Department of Health and Human Services Department of Public Health, Licensure Unit, may issue an initial license on probation (with terms and conditions) or limitation based on these same grounds for discipline.

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Unprofessional Conduct

A list of unprofessional conduct can be found in Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 38-178 - 38-179, of the PDF FileUniform Credentialing Act, and PDF File172 NAC 94 - Regulations Governing Mental Health Practitioners, Marriage and Family Therapists, Professional Counselors and Social Workers.

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Rules and Regulations/Statutes

PDF File Regulations Governing the Licensure of Mental Health Practitioners and the Certification of Marriage and Family Therapists, Professional Counselors, and Social Workers - 172 NAC 94
PDF File Statutes Relating to the Nebraska Telehealth Act
PDF File Statutes Related to Medical Records
PDF File Statutes Relating to Mental Health Practice
PDF File Statutes Relating to the Uniform Credentialing Act
PDF File Regulations Relating to Mandatory Reporting
PDF File Mandatory Reporting Forms

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Board Information

The Board of Mental Health Practice advises the Department of Health and Human Services Regulation and Licensure on all issues related to the regulation of mental health practitioners and marriage and family therapists, professional counselors and social workers. For information relating to becoming a board member and their responsibilities, see Licensure Unit Board Member Elections & Roles. Board member composition and length of terms follows:

Membership: 2 Licensed Mental Health Practitioners (who do not hold an MFT, PC, or MSW certificate);
2 Certified Marriage and Family Therapists;
2 Certified Master Social Workers;
2 Certified Professional Counselors; and
2 Public Members
(At least one professional member of the board shall be a member of a racial or ethnic minority)
Length of Term: 5 years, no more than 2 consecutive full 5-year terms.
Professional Requirements: Been actively engaged in practice of his/her profession in the State of Nebraska, under a license issued in this state, for a period of 5 years just preceding his/her appointment.
Public Member:
  1. Be a resident of this state who has attained the age of majority;
  2. Represent the interests and viewpoints of consumers; and
  3. Not be a present or former member of a credentialed profession, an employee of a member of a credentialed profession, or an immediate family or household member of any person presently regulated by such board.

The Board of Mental Health Practice meets 6 times per year - click here for meeting dates and times. Meetings are open to the public, with the exception of investigational matters. Minutes of the meeting are available here or by contacting Cindy Kelley (402) 471-2117 or by e-mail at cindy.l.kelley@nebraska.gov.

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Contact Us

Office Address:

Mailing Address Physical Address
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services - Division of Public Health
Licensure Unit
PO Box 94986
Lincoln, NE 68509-4986
Nebraska State Office Building
301 Centennial Mall South
14th and M Streets
3rd Floor
Lincoln, Nebraska

Phone: (402) 471-2115
Fax: (402) 471-3577

Office Hours:

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (central time)
Monday through Friday

Provisional License Information:

       
Cindy Kelley, Licensure Unit Specialist
       
Phone: (402) 471-4905
        Fax: (402) 471-3577
        Email: cindy.l.kelley@nebraska.gov

Certified Social Worker Information:

Kelly Lundgren
Phone: 402-471-4970
Fax: 402-471-3577
e-mail: kelly.lundgren@nebraska.gov

Licensure Information:

Cindy Kelley, Licensure Unit Specialist
Phone: (402) 471-4905
Fax: (402) 471-3577
e-mail: cindy.l.kelley@nebraska.gov

Nancy Herdman, Program Specialist
Phone: (402) 471-0556
Fax: (402) 471-3577
e-mail: nancy.herdman@nebraska.gov

Kris Chiles, Program Manager
Phone: (402) 471-2117
Fax: (402) 471-3577
e-mail: kris.chiles@nebraska.gov

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Other Related Contacts

Licensee Assistance Program
Center Pointe Professional Plz
9239 West Center Road
Omaha, NE 68124
Phone: (402) 354-8055
Toll Free: (800) 851-2336
www.lapne.org

Medicaid Provider Enrollment Information
301 Centennial Mall South, 5th Floor
PO Box 95026
Lincoln, NE 68509-5026
Phone: (877) 255-3092, (402) 471-9128
Policy Information: (402) 471-1608
www.dhhs.ne.gov/med/medindex.htm

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Marriage and Family Therapy Related Contacts

American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
1133 15th Street, NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005-2710
Phone: (202) 452-0109
Fax: (202) 223-2329
www.aamft.org

Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB)
1843 Austin Bluffs Parkway
University Office Park
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Phone: (719) 388-1615
www.amftrb.org

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  Professional Counseling Related Contacts

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
5999 Stevenson Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
Phone: (703) 823-9800, ext. 301
www.counseling.org/

American Counseling Association (ACA)
5999 Stevenson Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22304-3300
Phone: (703) 823-9800
www.counseling.org

American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
801 N. Fairfax St., Suite 310
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 683-ASCA
Toll-free: (800) 306-4722
Fax: (703) 683-1619
www.schoolcounselor.org

National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
NBCC 3 Terrace Way, Suite D
Greensboro, NC 27403-3660
Phone: (336) 547-0607
Fax: (336) 547-0017
www.nbcc.org

Nebraska Counseling Association (NCA)
PO Box 283
Kearney, NE 68848-0283
Phone: (402) 509-8080 or
            (800) 758-3010
E-mail: president@necounseling.org
http://www.necounseling.org

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Social Work Related Contacts

Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
400 South Ridge Parkway, Suite B
Culpeper, Virginia 22701
Toll Free: (800) 225-6880
Phone: (540) 829-6880
Fax: (540) 829-0142
www.aswb.org

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
1725 Duke Street, Suite 500
Alexandria VA 22314-3457
Phone: (703) 683-8080
FAX: (703) 683-8099
www.cswe.org

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
750 First Street NE, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20002-4241
Phone: (202)-408-8600
Toll Free: (800) 638-8799
www.naswdc.org

Nebraska Chapter of National Association of Social Workers
PO Box 83732
Lincoln, NE 68501
Phone: (402) 477-7344
www.naswne.org

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Brochures/Resource Guide

PDF FileChemical Dependency in Healthcare Professionals
PDF FileConsumer Brochure
PDF FileMental Health Practice Board News - Volume I - April 2004
PDF FileMental Health Practice Board News -  Volume II - June 2006

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Number of Individuals per License/Certificate Types - As of June 05, 2013

Mental Health Practitioners (MHP) 2,667
Independent Mental Health Practitioner (IMHP) 1,033
Provisional Mental Health Practitioners 969
Marriage and Family Therapists 92
Master Social Workers 852
Master Social Workers - CMSW 28
Professional Counselors 1,021
Provisional Master Social Workers 154
Social Workers 542

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Licensee Assistance Program

The Licensee Assistance Program (LAP) is an assessment, education, referral, case management, and monitoring service designed to help licensees, certificate holders, and registrants of the State of Nebraska work through substance abuse/addiction problems.

The LAP services are free. However, in some cases treatment from a community resource agency may be needed. If further assistance is needed, the LAP Coordinator will help refer the Licensee to the most appropriate agency. When a treatment referral is made, those expenses become the responsibility of the Licensee.

This program was authorized by PDF FileNeb. Rev. Stat. §38-175 and is funded by license fees.

LAP telephone number: (800) 851-2336 or (402) 354-8055. You may also visit their website at www.lapne.org

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Name and Address Change

To request an address change, you can contact Cindy Kelley at (402) 471-2117 or e-mail cindy.l.kelley@nebraska.gov.  If you wish to change your name on your License record, you must mail a PDF Filewritten request with your signature notarized along with a copy of the legal document verifying name change to:

Licensure Unit
Mental Health Practice
PO Box 94986
Lincoln NE 68509-4986

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Duplicates/Reissue

Duplicates: Licensure Unit will issue a duplicate wall license or small license card when more than one original is requested at the time of initial licensure. If you are requesting a duplicate license, you must include an additional $10.00 per request, with your original license application.

Reissue: Licensure Unit will reissue a large license and/or small license card when the licensee requests: additional documents; replacement of original document(s) due to loss, mutilation or destruction; or replacement of document(s) due to a name change.

If you wish to request a reissued license, you must submit a PDF Filerequest for reissuance, and include a fee in the amount of $10.00. Submit said request to:

Licensure Unit
Mental Health Practice
PO Box 94986
Lincoln NE 68509-4986

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Certifications/Verifications

Certification and Verification information can be obtained by checking the website at: www.dhhs.ne.gov/lis/lisindex.htm

OR

To request either a certification or verification or your license to be sent to another state licensing agency, send your request in writing along with the proper fee to the our office. Checks should be made payable to Licensure Unit, State of Nebraska.

Certification

  1. Fee - $25.00
  2. Certification includes:
    1. Name
    2. Profession
    3. License number
    4. Issuance date
    5. Expiration date
    6. Whether the license was granted by examination, waiver, or reciprocity
    7. Examination information, if available
    8. Whether disciplinary action has been taken against the license. If so, the type(s) and date(s) of the action will be included.
    9. SEAL of the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services

Verification

  1. Fee - $5.00
  2. Verification includes:
    1. Name
    2. Profession
    3. License Number
    4. Expiration Date
    5. Department Staff Signature

A verification does not include the SEAL of the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services nor information relating to discipline, school, or examination.

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Complaints

How do I file a complaint? To file a complaint, see the Investigations Division web site: www.dhhs.ne.gov/reg/investi.htm
 

What activities must be reported by a licensee, certificate holder, or registrant? Every credentialed person who has first-hand knowledge of unlicensed, illegal or unethical activities is required to report (includes self-reporting) within 30 days of the occurrence. Failure to report may result in discipline. To view additional information relating to mandatory reporting, click on the options below:

Mandatory Reporting shall not apply:

  • to the spouse of the person,
  • to a practitioner who is providing treatment to such person in a practitioner-patient relationship concerning information obtained or discovered in the course of treatment unless the treating practitioner determines that the condition of the person may be of a nature which constitutes a danger to the public health and safety by the person's continued practice, or
  • when a credentialed person who is chemically impaired enters the Licensee Assistance Program authorized by Neb. Rev. Stat. § 38-175 except as provided in such section.

How is a complaint reviewed, and what is the disciplinary process? The following provides information relating to the complaint, investigative, and disciplinary process.

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