Mayor Chris Beutler today will present the Mayor's Award of Excellence for January to Lincoln Police Officer Christopher Vigil. 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.
Vigil was nominated in the category of productivity by Police Officer Luke Bonkiewicz for his outstanding activity as a patrol officer in 2014. The Lincoln Police Department (LPD) tracks patrol officer's activity, making it is possible to compare their performance. In 2014, Vigil wrote more warnings and citations than 90 percent of LPD officers, and his warrants, misdemeanors and felonies all ranked in the top four among LPD Officers:
Vigil tallied the most felonies by a single officer unit in the last 20 years, and prosecutors were able to file on 90 percent of his felony charges, a good indication of his diligent, meticulous police work. Bonkiewicz said the numbers demonstrate Vigil self-initiated activities, and his efforts substantially improved the quality of life for the residents in his team's area.
The majority of his arrests involved narcotics possession and trafficking. He completed 92 narcotics investigations in 2014, or about two per week. His narcotics investigations resulted from field contacts, traffic stops and most importantly, collaboration between Vigil and concerned citizens. Bonkiewicz said his work is a great example of policing in partnership with the public, one of the hallmarks of LPD. His work with citizens, community groups and other LPD units led to the elimination of several narcotics houses, the seizure of a wide variety and considerable quantity of controlled substances and many arrests of suspected drug traffickers.
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.