Officer of the Year 2018
Officer Joseph Villamonte
Officer Joe Villamonte has been a commissioned officer with the Lincoln Police Department since February of 2012. He is a productive, knowledgeable and passionate officer, as well as a trustworthy teammate. Throughout his time with LPD, Officer Villamonte has demonstrated these qualities through numerous arrests, all while training future officers through his role as a Field Training Officer. However, 2017 marked a banner year for him.
Over the course of his fifth year with LPD, Joe was assigned to the Northeast Team, working third shift. In 2017 alone, Officer Villamonte conducted 746 traffic stops, leading to the issuance of 371 official citations and 643 warnings. The average number of official citations and warnings were 194 and 172, respectively, meaning he doubled the official average and more than tripled the warning average.
As if this feat wasn't impressive enough, Joe also found time to make 29 DWI arrests, 248 misdemeanor arrests and over 100 felony arrests. That is over twice the average number of misdemeanors and ten times the average number of felonies. Officer Villamonte's 100 felony arrests are the 5th most annual felony arrests since 1996 and the second highest number of felonies by a single officer in a given year on the department. Joe is also the only officer in the last two decades to generate at least 50 felonies and at least 200 officials, warnings, misdemeanors and selectives over the course of one year.
One of Officer Villamonte's more noteworthy traffic stops last year occurred on Interstate 80. After a brief training in highway interdiction strategies and a two-week ride-along training period, Officer Villamonte decided to put his newfound training to the test. In early November, he stopped a vehicle for speeding along I-80. This traffic stop developed into a narcotics investigation which culminated in the seizure of ten vacuum-sealed packages of marijuana weighing in a 21.85 pounds. This is a fantastic seizure for any officer, but is especially notable for a third shift patrol officer at a generalist department.
On average, LPD officers spend around 19,304 minutes per year on calls for service. Officer Villamonte, however, spent 21,825 minutes on calls, indicating he is not only productive, but takes a large volume of calls and investigates them to their logical conclusion. In addition, Officer Villamonte's prosecution rate was 94%, showing not only a superior knowledge in Nebraska criminal law, but also extreme skill in documenting his investigations and arrests.
Officer Villamonte has been a Field Training Officer for the entirety of 2017 - a position he achieved as soon as he was eligible by department standards. During this critical training time, Officer Villamonte has mentored and molded young officers into capable, hard-working and bright patrol officers. In fact, a former recruit officer assigned to Officer Villamonte was selected for a 2018 investigator position with the LPD Gang Unit. Joe truly understands that contributing to the success of others will never impede his own success.
Villamonte's strengths as a patrol officer with LPD lie in his proficiency in a variety of areas related to law enforcement. His desire for self-improvement is reflected by actively seeking new experiences and training related to the job. His strong work ethic, ability as a patrol officer and talent as a trainer are just a few of the reasons why Officer Joseph Villamonte is proudly named by the Awards Committee as the 2018 Officer of the Year.