Mayor Chris Beutler today will present the Mayor's Award of Excellence for November to Lincoln Police Officers Jorge Dimas and Matthew Schiefelbein. The award will be presented at 3 p.m. at the beginning of the City Council meeting at the County-City Building, 555 S. 10th Street. The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City.
They were nominated by Police Captain Jason Stille in the category of customer relations for an act of kindness last Labor Day. The officers were sent to a laundry business about a disturbance.
A customer had purchased a pizza for her nine-year-old daughter to eat while they finished their laundry. The employee microwaved the pizza while it was still sealed inside the plastic wrapper, so the pizza was inedible. The employee did not accept responsibility for the error and refused to make a new pizza or refund the customer's money.
Stille said the officers quickly diffused the situation and determined that the true victim was the child who was hungry and upset. Because it was after 10 p.m. on a holiday, the officers knew the pair did not have many options to get food quickly. The officers drove to a local business and spent their own money to buy food for the pair. When they returned with the food, they learned it was the girl's birthday. The story came to light when the girl's grandmother called the department to thank the officers. Stille said this speaks volumes about the character of the two officers, and this simple act highlights their exemplary customer service to the citizens.
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are productivity, safety, valor and loss prevention. 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 award 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: hr) or from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Human Resources Department, which oversees the awards program. All nominations are considered 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 $50 gift certificate, a day off with pay and a plaque. All monthly winners and nominees are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $250 gift certificate, two days off with pay and a plaque.