Mayor Chris Beutler today presented the Mayor's Award of Excellence for August to Police Officer Mark Fluitt. 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.
Fluitt is assigned to the Northwest Operations Team and has worked for the Police Department since 1983. Sergeant Robert Kubicek nominated him in the category of productivity to recognize his extensive investigation into harassing phone calls.
In the first case, Fluitt used victim phone records to identify a suspect and extracted a detailed confession. He suspected that the man had made calls for years in spite of three previous arrests. He tied the suspect to several open cases, and cleared another 17 obscene phone call cases. This investigation could have ended there, but Fluitt was troubled by a phone number several victims had captured through caller identification and reported to police. The number could not be linked to the previous suspect. A subpoena for those phone records and further investigation led to a new suspect with previous convictions for obscene phone calls.
Using intelligence reports and surveillance, Fluitt tied several cell phone numbers to the new suspect. Subpoenas for those phone records resulted in thousands of calls, including some to Lincoln area numbers. Fluitt compared them to numbers from known victims and developed local cases against the suspect. Search warrants resulted in the arrest of the suspect and the seizure of more cell phones. The suspect was eventually charged in 14 obscene phone call cases.
Sergeant Kubicek wrote that it was perhaps the most difficult phone call case he could recall. "Officer Fluitt has shown exceptional work throughout the investigation," he said. "The case incorporates varied police tactics and techniques to bring about a successful conclusion. Once again, Mark Fluitt has reminded us of why he is recognized as one of the most diligent, tenacious investigators on our department."
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer relations, loss prevention, safety and valor. Consideration also may be given to nominations that demonstrate self-initiated accomplishments or those completed outside of the nominee's job description.
All City employees are eligible for the Mayor's Award of Excellence except for elected and appointed officials. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public. Nomination forms are available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: personnel) or 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.