Officer of the Year 2012
Officer Jonathan Kossow
Officer Jonathan Kossow recently ended a three-year rotation as LPD's first assigned officer to the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force, which is made up of officers from the Nebraska State Patrol, Lancaster County Sheriff's Department, United States Marshals Office and the Lincoln Police Department. The primary function of the Task Force is the diligent research and service of arrest warrants on wanted fugitives and felons. Jon proved himself a natural leader within the Task Force, effectively making good, sound decisions in highly stressful, tactical situations.
Officer Kossow's day would start by reviewing all felony arrest warrants, then categorizing the wanted individuals into low, medium or high risk. Next, Jon would collect intelligence information on the fugitives' associates and any digital footprints left behind by the felon. Officer Kossow possesses a true gift of gaining a rapport with citizens and obtaining information on the person he's looking for. In addition, to all of the above-mentioned research and footwork, Jon spent countless hours on surveillance. Officer Kossow's knowledge has excelled in the area of cell phone forensics. He wrote excellent court orders and search warrants to obtain the information from cell phones and was able to analyze the data he received. Through the data, Jon was able to determine an area of exact location that a particular cellular phone was used. Through the use of technology, Jon has mastered the art of 'hunting a felon' and produced amazing numbers in 2011 - 508 felony warrants and 299 misdemeanor warrants were served by Jon and the Task Force. In addition, 127 other arrests were made while attempting to locate the original offenders! None of these arrests are for the everyday offender who may have failed to appear on a traffic citation. They are for hard-core felons including bank robbers, murder suspects and drug dealers who have eluded officers from several other states. The one thing each of them had in common was, they made the mistake of coming within arm's reach of Officer Kossow, who is relentless in his work.
In May of 2011, there was an early morning shooting in downtown Lincoln, determined to be the result of a gang rivalry. The suspect was an active member of a gang, prone to violence and known for possession firearms. After yielding a phone number as a result of several interviews with friends and associates, Jon obtained a Federal Court order for the PIN register on the suspect's cell phone, providing notification of all incoming and outgoing phone calls involving that number. Even after the suspect switched phones, he was tracked to Omaha. Days later, it was determined the suspect was en route from Omaha to Lincoln, based upon his cell phone usage. Officer Kossow coordinated officers from LPD, Omaha PD and the US Marshals Office and even though there was a 60-second delay in information getting to him, Jon continued to give specific locations and directions of travel of the fugitive. Once the fugitive was idle at one location, Jon and his team swooped in and took the suspect into custody without incident.
In August of 2011, after developing a suspect in a burglary in progress, Officer Kossow cultivated a confidential informant who was successful in luring the suspect to the CI's vehicle. Then, with Jon lying down on the back seat in order to listen to a phone conversation between the CI and the suspect, while coordinating an arrest plan via radio. After a standoff with the suspect, he was ultimate taken into custody without further incident. The very next month, after a homicide, Officer Kossow was once again able to rely upon his uncanny technology forensics savvy to locate the suspect and take him into custody within 24 hours of the murder.
Although Officer Kossow would say his job performance over the past year was "no big deal", it's obvious that the job he did while on the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force on a daily basis and the phenomenal success he saw as a result is above and beyond what most officers would see in their entire career. Jon has been able to achieve significant success in only twelve years on the department. His knowledge and determination has helped him to realize an incredibly productive year. For his unending dedication to his department and community, the Awards Committee is pleased to name Officer Jonathan Kossow as the 2012 LPD Officer of the Year.