Mayor Chris Beutler will present the Mayor's Award of Excellence for July to two Police Officers from Lincoln Police Department's (LPD) Northeast Team - Joseph Coleman and Kiefer Hyland. The award will be presented at the beginning of today's City Council meeting at 3 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, County-City Building, 555 S. 10th St. The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City.
Both have worked for the City since 2012. They were nominated in the category of productivity by fellow Police Officer Luke Bonkiewicz for their work on patrol in 2014.
Coleman and Hyland are a two-person unit and rode in the same cruiser all year. Because LPD tracks virtually every patrol activity, it is possible to compare the team's performance to the average officer.
In 2014, the average officer wrote 224 traffic warnings and 201 traffic citations. Officers Coleman and Hyland wrote 541 warnings and 775 official citations. Their efforts were not limited to traffic enforcement. While the average officer made 26 warrant arrests in 2014, Coleman and Hyland hunted down 67 warrants.
The unit also excelled in criminal investigations. In 2014, the average officer made 111 misdemeanor arrests and 13 felony arrests. Coleman and Hyland made 525 misdemeanor arrests and 60 felony arrests. Equally impressive, prosecutors filed charges in nine out of every ten of their arrests - a 90 percent prosecution rate. Officer Bonkiewicz wrote that this reflects a substantial command of criminal law and department procedures as well as diligent investigating and excellent documentation.
Numbers do not always tell the whole story, but Bonkiewicz wrote that in this case, the numbers precisely reflect the officers' "high levels of ambition, diligence, and professionalism. The comparisons, quite frankly, are staggering."
As further proof of their productivity, consider that LPD patrol activity data goes back to 1996. This is only the second time since then that an officer or a two-officer unit has achieved at least 500 warnings, 500 official citations, 500 misdemeanor arrests, 50 warrant arrests and 50 felony arrests.
Bonkiewicz writes, "Officers Coleman and Hyland's year was not simply phenomenal, it was historic."
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer relations, loss prevention, safety and valor. Consideration also may be given to nominations that demonstrate self-initiated accomplishments or those completed outside of the nominee's job description. All City employees are eligible for the Mayor's Award of Excellence except for elected and appointed officials.
Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public. Nomination forms are available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: hr) or from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Human Resources Department, which oversees the awards program. All nominations are considered by the Mayor's Award of Excellence Committee, which includes a representative with each union and a non-union representative appointed by the Mayor. Award winners receive a $50 gift certificate, a day off with pay and a plaque. All monthly winners and nominees are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $250 gift certificate, two days off with pay and a plaque.