Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nice thanks

I thought I might post this nice thank you note that Mayor Chris Beutler emailed to all of our employees. The Fourth of July weekend is usually our busiest of the year, and this year it was complicated by an appearance by Larry the Cable Guy, who played to an audience of 60,000 in Memorial Stadium. Adding to the chaos, as night fell on Friday, thunderstorms rolled in, forcing the the annual City fireworks display and Lincoln Symphony concert to Sunday. The net result is that the normal one-day special event stretched to three in a row—quite a strain. It’s nice the Mayor recognized the effort that helped it all happen.

I can't thank the men and women of the Lincoln Police Department enough for the incredible effort put forth this past Independence Day weekend as our great city became the entertainment hot spot for the Midwest region.

Great resiliency was shown by all as Mother Nature threw some adversity our way on Friday evening in the form of a torrential downpour forcing the postponement of our annual Uncle Sam Jam celebration to Sunday night. Already scheduled for double-duty because of the big Larry the Cable Guy comedy show on Saturday night, LPD's task was compounded by the curve ball thrown to us by the weather on Friday.

I was so very proud to see the way everyone adjusted to the revised task at hand and made the best of it. It turned out to be a great weekend for the city of Lincoln, Lincoln business owners and the citizens we all serve.

Lincoln Police Department went above and beyond the call of duty on Independence Day weekend. Your sense of duty, your professionalism and your commitment to the people you serve made me very proud to be your Mayor. On behalf of everyone involved with the events of Independence Day weekend and on behalf of the citizens you are sworn to serve, I extend my most sincere and heart-felt thanks for a job well done. The part you played in making Lincoln a tremendous holiday weekend destination is greatly appreciated by everyone involved. Thank you.


Anonymous said...


Tom Casady said...

7:17 -


Anonymous said...

What happened at 16th and Q around 3:45 on 7/15/09 ?

I never saw anything in the news or online - and with that many guns pulled from UNL, LSO, and LPD I thought there would be some comments!

Tom Casady said...

8:17 -
Looks like a report from a citizen of three men in a jeep with one displaying a handgun, northbound from 19th and J Street. A sheriff's deputy spots the vehicle, a UNL officer arrives as backup, the three men are contacted on foot at gunpoint after parking the jeep nearby and exiting. No gun found, no arrest made. Ditched?

Trevor Brass said...

Would this kind of situation in the future necessitate the services of the fusion you wrote earlier about?

Josh said...

Yikes so much cynicism in the comments. The mayor noticed the efforts and wrote a nice email. Why must everyone look for secondary meanings in everything? Sometimes a compliment is just a compliment.

Tom Casady said...


Maybe. We have some local information about some of the occupants of this vehicle with gang ties. If a fusion center was operational, we might be able to check, post hoc, to see if there is any other information from other sources (such as the Omaha Police Department or the Nebraska State Patrol) about these same subjects. Right now, LPD is to some extent an information island (a very nice island, though). With a good fusion process, we might create an information archipelago.

Steve said...

Does "displaying a handgun" mean the occupant was "brandishing" it, or was it simply visible to the concerned citizen who called? Did police know of the gang ties before, or after, contacting the men at gun point? Just curious since, in earlier posts, you claimed simply carrying a handgun in public would not be cause for police to question or cite a person for any kind of crime.

Anonymous said...

8:54 -

Get over it. The Mayor's note was well intentioned and sincere.

For LPD to get things from the city/citizens you have to run a PR campaign and complaining and taking pot shots at the Mayor does NOT accomplish that. It does just the opposite. Complaining about not getting a raise when the city is shorting their revenue in almost every area and the private sector can barely keep the doors open is just not smart. It makes you appear uninformed, at best. Private sector employees that haven't had either a reduction in benefits or a reduction in compensation at this point consider themselves fairly lucky...assuming they even have a job.

The employees in my company are being asked to do way more with way less than they ever have before. It's not fair, but it's the reality of where we are. You guys do need more officers AND a raise, but it just can't happen right now. Cheif Casady is doing a good job of letting us know why. It will happen when the economy turns around, but bitching about it right now...when the citizens around you are in turmoil is just whiny.

Please know that I appreciate YOU and what you do for us on a daily basis. I just don't understand the entitlement mentality that I've heard from several LPD officers. It'll get better for you when it gets better for the rest of us. Just hold on with us until that happens...and quit bitching.

Tom Casady said...


From the call-takers remarks in the dispatch record, it appears to be more of a "brandishing" not an "I saw." I don't know whether anyone knew about the gang connection prior to the stop or not. I doubt it. It would have taken a while to check out the plate number, the people associated with that, and so forth--and it looks like this all transpired pretty quickly.

Steve said...


Thanks for clearing that up. I thought I better check before you got nailed by Gun Nut on it!

Anonymous said...

Concerning this robbery (here's a story that didn't intentionally redact the suspect description), is this roughly the same suspect description as a similar apt parking lot robbery, A9-035179, that occurred a few months ago in the same area of the city?

It really rung a bell when I read it. Different car though, I think that other one was a minivan of some sort.

Anonymous said...

Be happy to have good job or a job at all. There are hundreds of thousands without...

Enzo said...

To 10:24--
Clearly you work in the private sector and have never been privileged enough to experience the inner workings and politics of the city government, especially during contract negotiations.

Our "bitching" is an effort to continue going home alive at the end of our shifts. I'm sorry you look at it as "bitching". The city has been allowed to jeopardize our safety each day for quite some time now in order to save money. They continue to ask more of us but don't want to compensate us fairly for the workload. The officers of the LPD continue to perform at the efficiency level most departments strive to achieve and we are never rewarded for that. Many times we have been asked by the city, for concessions in our wages and benefits to assist in THEIR budget shortfalls.

Unlike the private sector, when negotiating a contract that includes benefits and wages, we use other similar cities in an array to determine what we are due. LPD is lacking and has been for several years in comparison to the majority of the cities and most of the cities have much lower property taxes.

Until you've seen the frivolous spending and backstabbing politics that occur within the city behind the walls of the government, you cannot fairly say that we have an inappropriate "entitlement mentality". The mismanagement of city hall and the budget has fallen to the shoulders of the working class government employees and we did not contribute to the administration's shortfalls. We should be entitled to equal pay and benefits as other police officers around the Midwest and should not be held responsible to make up for mistakes in budgeting we did not create.

The private sector and public government are two completely separate entities with two motivational goals that drive each and to compare the two is like comparing apples & cucumbers.

I think your view of the city is very narrow and you clearly don't have the exposure many of us do.

Anonymous said...

It was a nice letter, and about the best he could do, under present circumstances. Re-election is a big (as in #1) priority for nearly every elected official. Cutting the LPD budget would be political suicide, due to not only the votes of LPD employees and their voting-age family members, but also to those non-LPD-affiliated citizens like myself that value LPD highly enough to want to see their budget boosted - not cut - even if that means a small property tax hike. I don't like tax increases, but in this case, it'd be worth it for continued proactive policing.

Considering the reliably (and pathetically) low turnout in local elections, a few thousand registered voters changing their votes can toss a local official out of office pretty easily. In those linked results, notice that if only about 500 voters had switched their votes (or if about a thousand non-voters had made it to the polls to vote against him), he'd be out of a job, or maybe working for Talent Plus. When you've gone from Nebraska state legislator pay to Mayor of Lincoln pay, you'd tend to not want to strongly alienate any large constituency.

Tom Casady said...


Some of these comments have started to stray into labor negotiations. I think that it may be inappropriate for me, as police chief, to be allowing comments concerning contract negotiations. I have moderated two out, and may have to do that more. The Chief's Corner isn't the right place to debate or discuss contract issues. Not that these aren't good posts or a good dialog, though--just not here.

Tom Casady said...

11:07 -

Yes, several similarities.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping me in my crusade to keep everyone aware of Second Amendment rights.

On occasions I carry in the open in Lincoln when I am on my way to the shooting range. I am sure some concerned citizens have called 9/11 and reported the "older guy on a Silver motorcycle that is heavily armed". However I have never been hassled by any of the officers in Lincoln while doing this. The only time I was ever pulled over was when a State Patrol officer stopped me on I-80 once. He seemed to be more concerned about my motorcycle endorsement and Insurance than the firearms.

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

Not to try to sound like a jerk but I did not see LPD at Larry the Cable Guy. I saw UNLPD and a couple of LSO. Was LPD there and I just did not see them?

Tom Casady said...


That was LPD officers exclusively who directed all of the traffic to get 60,000 to and from the show. Maybe you parachuted in?

The deputy sheriffs, state troopers, and UNL officers who handled "crowd control" inside the stadium were all paid by the University of Nebraska for that gig. The LPD officers who were in the intersections working their tails off were all paid by the City of Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

Let's just hope that some of the cable guy crowd hung around and spent some cash in Lincoln to help with sales tax revenue.

Grundle King said...

I know of 4 people who came to Lincoln just to see Larry, and I know they spent money in Lincoln in the process.

Tom Casady said...


Me too. My daughter and son-in-law came down from Omaha and his parents came from Columbus. Kelly and Andy hit Amigo's and a convenience store at the bare minimum. There was a little Southpointe Pavillions action, too, as I recall.

I suspect an event of this size has a very significant economic impact--maybe not quite a Nebraska home football game, but still one of the bigger days of the year.