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Mayor's Office Heading City Letter Head

August 18, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831


Mayor Coleen J. Seng today presented the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for July to Lincoln Police Department Investigator John Donahue. The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City. The award was presented at the beginning of today’s City Council meeting.

Donahue joined the Lincoln Police Department in 1986 and is now in the Central Investigations Division. He was nominated in the category of productivity by Sergeant Larry Barksdale. Donahue earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice before becoming a police officer. He received an associate of arts degree in computer science in May 2001 and a master’s degree in forensic science in May 2003. He used his knowledge to create a computer CD, which is used for evaluating candidates for positions as crime scene investigators. Barksdale said the new system is more equitable and streamlined and has saved the City thousands of dollars in testing.

“Investigator Donahue has exceptionally demonstrated the value of education to the betterment of his employer, the City of Lincoln, and to the community of Lincoln,” wrote Barksdale in his nomination. “Investigator Donahue has taken it upon himself to learn how to apply computer-assisted drawing and digital cameras to investigative work, to keep up-to-date on technological developments and forensic applications, and to bring those skills and knowledge to the police personnel. This has not only upgraded the abilities of the police officers, but has saved the Police Department considerable money in correcting investigative errors, training costs and equipment costs.”

The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer relations, loss prevention, safety and valor. All City employees are eligible for the Mayor’s Award of Excellence except for elected officials and some managers. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public.

Nomination forms are available from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Personnel Department, which oversees the awards program. All nominations are reviewed 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 $100 U.S. savings bond, a day off with pay and a plaque. Monthly winners are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $500 U.S. savings bond, two days off with pay and a plaque.

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