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2016 Media Releases

April 18, 2016
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 402-441-7831

Mayor to Present February Award of Excellence

Mayor Chris Beutler today will present the Mayor's Award of Excellence for February to a team from the Central Investigations Unit of the Lincoln Police Department - Tyler Cooper and Eric Messersmith. The award will be presented at 3 p.m. at the beginning of the City Council meeting in the City Council Chambers, County-City Building, 555 S. 10th Street. The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates person commitment to the City.

Sergeant Luke Wilke nominated them in the categories of productivity and safety for their work in solving several robberies. Between October and December, Cooper and Messersmith looked into a number of high profile crimes. After clearing an attempted robbery in October, they used information from those arrests to clear many more cases. Six burglaries were cleared through additional interviews. They also built on their previous work to develop probable cause to arrest a known gang member from Omaha with a significant criminal history. This subject had been coming to Lincoln and committing armed robberies of convenience stores. He is now in jail on several robbery charges and related gun charges.

Wilke wrote, "The quality of the police work done by these two investigators is such that these cases will likely be disposed of through guilty pleas rather than trials. This is, simply put, phenomenal police work on the part of these two investigators."

The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer service, valor and loss prevention. 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 award 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 (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

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