Mayor Chris Beutler today will present the Mayor's Award of Excellence for June to Police Officer Brian Ward. The award will be presented at 3 p.m. at the beginning of the City Council meeting at the County-City Building, 555 S. 10th Street. The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City.
Ward has been with the Lincoln Police Department for 23 years. He was nominated in the categories of customer relations and productivity by Captain Jason Stille for his role in solving a bank robbery May 2. As Ward was responding to the incident, he noticed a person matching the vague description riding a bicycle about ten blocks away. While the person didn't exactly match the description, Ward sensed something was amiss. He continued to the bank while coordinating with other responding officers to stop the cyclist. When officers tried to stop the man, he failed to comply but was quickly taken into custody without incident. He was later found in possession of all of the stolen money as well as clothing that appeared on the surveillance video.
Stille wrote, "The bank robbery was cleared in less than 15 minutes, due in large part to Ward's instinct and experience. While this is a great case, it is fairly typical work product from Officer Ward."
Another example occurred a few months earlier and involved the theft of expensive camera equipment from a vehicle. While handling another call, Ward overheard a suspicious person report about an individual trying to sell equipment from a small trailer pulled by a bicycle. After clearing his call, he found the person and identified the equipment as the stolen camera gear.
Stille wrote that each day, Ward demonstrates his experience as a veteran officer, provides an excellent role model for new officers and shows great compassion in serving the public.
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are safety, 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 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.