Two city employees received the Mayor’s Award of Excellence at the beginning of today’s City Council meeting. Mayor Don Wesely presented the award for October to Linda Flaherty and Charlene Wisbey, Emergency Service Dispatchers in the 911 Center. The award recognizes city employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the city.
They were nominated by a co-worker in the categories of safety and valor for an incident on July 18, 2000. About 10:15 that night, Flaherty took a call from a clerk at Kabredlo’s convenience store. The clerk said, "There’s a man here holding a gun to my head, threatening to blow my head off." Within 30 seconds, the call was forwarded to Wisbey for police dispatch.
The taped conversation reveals the gunman continued to verbally threaten the clerk and demand that he put the phone down. Flaherty told the clerk to do so. Flaherty continued to monitor the call and keep Wisbey informed. After the gunman demanded cigarettes, the clerk handed him a carton, and the gunman left the store. While he was gone, the clerk picked up the phone long enough to give a description of the gunman, and Wisbey relayed the information to the police units responding. The gunman returned to the store, again threatening the clerk and demanding that he put the phone down. At that point, a police cruiser arrived at the store.
Because of the exemplary teamwork of these two dispatchers, Lincoln Police Officers were able to take the man with the gun into custody within three minutes of the original call without anyone getting hurt," said Mayor Wesely.
In addition to safety and valor, the other categories in which employees can be nominated are productivity, loss prevention and customer relations. All city employees are eligible for the award except for elected officials and some managers. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public.
Nomination forms are available from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Personnel Department, which oversees the awards program. All nominations are reviewed by a committee, which includes a representative with each union and a non-union representative appointed by the Mayor. Award winners receive a $100 U.S. savings bond, a day off with pay and a plaque. Monthly winners are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $500 U.S. savings bond, two days off with pay and a plaque.