Officer of the Year 2014
Officer David Nelson
Officer David Nelson, a ten-year veteran of the Lincoln Police Department, had just ended a very successful three-year rotation in the Lincoln/Lancaster County Drug Task Force in January of 2013 and was just starting his assignment as a uniformed street officer. Over the course of his first year back on the street, however, Officer Nelson demonstrated an innate ability and desire to continue investigating narcotics cases whiles still conducting his regular assigned duties as a street cop.
David's investigative skills show a keen ability to talk and build a rapport with those involved in narcotic activity, often leading him to the recovery of contraband. Although not the most glamorous aspect to conducting a successful investigation, David often used surveillance as one of the main tools in making his 44 felony narcotics arrests in 2013. In addition to making his own cases, Officer Nelson continued to assist the Drug Task Force on occasion as his requested assistance arose. Officer Nelson also assisted his teammates in their narcotics investigations and taught them the intricacies of conducting their own investigations.
In addition to the 44 felony narcotics mentioned above, Officer Nelson was credited for numerous weapons violations, parole violations, the recovery of stolen property, the clearance of broadcasts and arrests on outstanding warrants. In the twelve specific cases mentioned by Officer Nelson's supervisor in his nomination, it's apparent that David has the uncanny ability to gain the trust of the public, victims and perpetrators alike, leading to the development of confidential informants - a critical tool in the investigation of narcotics activity.
Outside of his regularly assigned duties, Officer Nelson took on the responsibility of conducting the drug court checks on Center Team. He was asked to conduct drug court compliance checks with Drug Court Supervision officers to ensure the participants in the program were in compliance. In 2013 alone, there were over 50 participants from the Center Team in Drug Court. In addition to the 26 joint visits, Officer Nelson conducted an additional 23 solo visits. Two minor violations were discovered as a result of the solo visits by Officer Nelson. He also took advantage of the solo visits to speak with the clients regarding their knowledge of drug activity, resulting in an additional seven narcotics arrests and the recovery of a stolen vehicle.
Officer Nelson generated forty-nine narcotics cases in 2013 and assisted in another fifteen notable cases with other officers. He is directly responsible for forty-six felony arrests and assisted in another fifteen felony arrests for other officers. As a street officer with many other responsibilities, it's remarkable that Officer Nelson was able to achieve this number of narcotics cases, all while still taking calls for service and doing the required necessary work of a street officer. The Awards Committee felt his work was exceptional, deserving of recognition and has therefore named Officer David Nelson as the LPD 2014 Officer of the Year.