During the summer of 1966 vacationing Lieutenant Robert Glenn of the Iowa Highway Patrol visited the Nebraska State Patrol Headquarters in Lincoln. Later, he had occasion to discuss safety education activities with Lieutenant Tim Edwards of the Kansas Highway Patrol during a visit to their Training Center in Salina Kansas on March 8, 1967 and again during a course in Police Training Administration at Northwestern University Traffic Institute during May 1967. The three, above mentioned states were all of the opinion that they could improve the effectiveness of their safety education programs if they could develop an opportunity for an exchange of ideas. They discussed this idea with their Superintendents and with the Director of the Nebraska Safety Council – all of whom endorsed the idea. The Safety Council promised financial support to cover food services and Colonel Kruger suggested use of the Nebraska State Patrol Training Center.
The first planning correspondence was directed to Lieutenants Glen and Edwards on January 15, 1968, suggesting that representatives from each of the adjacent states be invited to share their "best" programs during a 2-day Workshop-Seminar on May 27 and 28, 1968. Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota were represented by thirteen officers, who along with fifteen representatives of the Nebraska State Patrol comprised the total participation. That first program schedule also included presentations by the Chairman of the Safety Committee for the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, a high school driver training instructor, a professor from the Speech Department of the University of Nebraska, a representative of the Safe-Teens Program, Safety Chairman for the Nebraska Council of Parent-Teacher Associations, the director of School Bus Safety for the Department of Education, a safety specialist from the College of Agriculture at the University of Nebraska, plus a review of the Defensive Driving Course program by Ray Martinez of the National Safety Council.
The critiques prepared at the close of the sessions were most encouraging. Comments included such unsolicited testimonials as: "Excellent Seminar; We can’t stop now;" "The Seminar was very rewarding in terms of learning new techniques and exchanging of ideas;" and "This has been a great experience." Everyone present emphatically endorsed a continuation of the Seminar on a regional concept. The "sample" presentation by representatives of the various states and informal exchange of ideas during the Seminar were consistently listed as "highlights" of the sessions.
The Nebraska State Patrol and its Safety Education and Training Division in particular, is proud to have played a part in initiating a "Regional Safety Education Seminar." The success of such a program is primarily dependent upon the dedication to and enthusiasm for effective public service. We hope that the need for and the benefits of such a program has been firmly established and pledge our continued interest and support.
Since the first regional Safety Education Seminar it has grown to include 22 Mid-western states, Canada and a new name, "Uniformed Safety Education Officers Workshop." The 22 states participating in the workshop are Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.