Mayor Chris Beutler today will present the Mayor's Award of Excellence for September to a team of School Resource Officers (SROs) - Police Officers Joseph Fisher, Nate Hill, Shane Jensen, Alan Pickering, Megan Schreiner and Thomas Stumbo. 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.
Lincoln Police Department (LPD) Captain Genelle Moore nominated them in the categories of customer relations and productivity for their work on a two-day Youth Police Academy. The SROs Police Academy clubs were established in all six public high schools in 2013. The clubs introduce interested students to various aspects of the law enforcement profession. The students participate in group explorations, discussions and hands-on activities.
In January, the SROs decided to expand the program by offering a two-day Youth Police Academy at Southeast Community College in May. The team recruited 35 participants, ages 14 through 18. The Lincoln Police Union, Chick-Fil-A, Super Target and two retired police officers donated services or provided financial support.
The program included a welcome from Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister; presentations of LPD's organizational structure, how to become a police officer and TASER techniques; as well as K-9 demonstrations. The students also participated in practical exercises in meth lab attire, evidence handling, crime scene evidence recovery, emergency vehicle operation, radar device operating and motor vehicle traffic stops, and learned about the interview and interrogation of suspects and victims. The students also participated in real-life scenarios involving crimes in progress, building searches and handcuffing techniques.
Students' evaluations completed at the end of the Academy were very positive. Captain Moore wrote, "In review, the SROs' two-day efforts fulfilled each of the established program goals, as well as relating positively to a segment of Lincoln's youthful population."
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.