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Mayor's Office

2004 Media Releases

March 8, 2004
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831

Mayor Presents February Award of Excellence

Mayor Coleen J. Seng today presented the Mayor's Award of Excellence for February to Officer Todd Hruza of the Lincoln Police Department. 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.

Hruza, a 14-year veteran of the LPD, now is assigned to the Center Team on the third shift. He was nominated in the category of productivity by Sergeant Danny Reitan. Reitan said officers working the overnight shifts have been the most affected by the recent business burglaries across the City. Reitan writes that on three separate occasions, Officer Hruza's ability to spot things out of the ordinary led directly to arrests of those committing burglary offenses.

  • On October 16, 2003, Officer Hruza responded to a possible business burglary in progress near 21st and "P" streets. He spotted a man standing in the shadows and a piece of concrete which had been used to break the door. Ultimately, the man was arrested for attempted burglary.
  • On October 27, 2003, Hruza responded to burglar alarm in the 2700 block of North 27th. He spotted a vehicle parked across the street in the shadows of a closed business. The three people in the car could provide no reasonable explanation for being there. Further investigation led to evidence of their involvement in the attempted break-in.
  • On October 29, 2003, Officer Hruza's spotted a vehicle associated with a burglary suspect. After arresting him, Hruza spotted a bag filled with cigarette cartons in the car. The man he arrested was later identified as the person responsible for an earlier burglary involving cigarettes. The suspect agreed to speak to investigators, which could lead to clearing other burglary cases.

Due to Officer Hruza's efforts, five people were arrested for burglary, attempted burglary and other offenses related to these crimes. Although, Hruza did not act alone in these cases, Reitan said it was his observations that directly led to the ultimate arrests. Hruza was acting as a Field Training Officer during this same time and set an excellent example for his recruit.

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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