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Mayor's Office

2006 Media Releases

January 24, 2006
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831


Mayor Coleen J. Seng today presented the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for December to Deanna Nathan of the Lincoln Police Department (LPD). 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.

Nathan has been a Public Services Specialist at the LPD Service Desk for almost ten years. She was nominated in the category of valor by Cheri Marti, Service Desk Manager, for her actions in dealing with a phone call November 16. The caller said a friend had left a voice mail about 30 minutes earlier saying she had taken pills to end her life. The caller knew only that the friend lived in the area of 25th and “R” streets. A quick computer check on the name showed only a home residence in Iowa. The caller thought the friend had recently been at a local hospital. Nathan contacted the specific ward, but was unable to get a current address because of hospital policy. Nathan then called the UNL Police Department, which did have the woman listed as a student.

As Nathan quickly entered a call for service to the address, she also dialed the woman’s number and made contact with her. The woman seemed to be falling in and out of consciousness and admitted she had taken some over-the-counter sleeping pills. Nathan kept the conversation going until Lincoln Fire and Rescue responded, and when she heard responders banging on the door, she encouraged the woman to let them in. The woman was hesitant, but Nathan reassured her that they were there to help. At that point, the woman indicated the door was unlocked. Once crews entered, Nathan encouraged the woman to call out so she could be located. She was found and taken to the hospital. Officer Ray Kansier witnessed Nathan’s response and immediately documented her outstanding work, which may have saved the woman’s life. Marti said Nathan has a reputation for common sense and for being calm and efficient during crises. As a footnote, Marti said LPD and the hospital were able to come up with a more effective way to deal with such emergencies.

The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer relations, safety, loss prevention and productivity. 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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