Thursday, July 29, 2010

Special thanks

The afterglow of the Special Olympics national games is mighty pleasant for Lincoln.  This has been the City’s finest moment in my recollection, and I am glad we could be a part of it.

Capt. Brian Jackson managed LPD’s official role in the games, but the volunteer effort was huge part of the story.  Over 85 Lincoln police employees volunteered for the Special Olympics.  We had a few people who took the entire week off on vacation so they could donate their time and work through the games.  It is impossible for me to thank them each individually in this post, but they all deserve props. 

I would like to take a moment, though, to express my thanks to two people in particular, both long time advocates, cheerleaders, and fundraisers for Special Olympics.  They would be the first to pass the credit along, so rather than being embarrassed by this, they can just consider themselves as representatives of all the other volunteers, too.

Retired Sgt. Jerry Thraen coordinated logistics for the 2010 games.  He did a phenomenal job, recruiting and scheduling scores of volunteers from dozens of law enforcement agencies to cover each venue and make sure any safety and security needs were handled.  He also handled transportation and other logistics for the games. Jerry got many deputies, officers, and troopers—both active duty and retired—involved in a memorable week of service that they will not soon forget.  Jerry has been involved in Special Olympics on the local, national and international scene, for twenty five years.

Sgt. Jeri Roeder coordinated the Torch Run for the 2010 games, a major undertaking.  The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest grassroots fundraising effort for the Special Olympics, and Jeri did a great job spearheading the multi-state final leg for the national games.  She coordinated the runners, the althletes, the schedules, the routes, the support vehicles and personnel, the community events, and the media relations and publicity for the Torch Run.  She has been a tireless, dedicated worker for Special Olympics for many years through all sorts of clever promotions—Tip a Cop, Cop on Top, Cops n‘ Lobsters, Polar Plunge, to name a few.

Now there’s a couple of tired cops for you, recuperating from the capstone experience of a multi-year effort for an event on the national stage.

Jerry, Jeri, my hat is off to the two of you, and everyone else who made this such an incredible event for Lincoln and for the athletes and their families!


Anonymous said...

national stage? CNN? Fox?
Who made it national?

Tom Casady said...


Did you miss the fact that this was the national special olympics? Did you miss the coverage on Good Morning America?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about Investigator Aaron Moore who "assisted" Sergeant Roeder and also designed the Final Leg Torch. Aaron has been involved with Special Olympics for 20 years and was a Final Leg Runner in Ireland. Great job Aaron, thanks for your dedication!

Tom Casady said...


...and also was the creative designer of the Torch itself.

Anonymous said...

Raise your children to "Love your neighbor as yourself." Mark 12:31
Volunteering will then come naturally.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:07: even without blanket coverage from so-called "national media," the fact is nearly 3,000 people from 48 states visited Lincoln. That makes it a national event. Kudos to LPD and many others who rolled out the red carpet for the Special Olympics. If just ONE person says back home, "Gee those folks in Lincoln, Neb., were great," then we accomplished much and further burnished a reputation as a fine city. Thanks to LPD for its great efforts.

Former Deputy D said...

You and your staff along with the city of Lincoln and all those involved are to be commended! Job, "Well Done!"

Anonymous said...


Totally off-topic, but from the local news:

If he had been governor, Meister said, he would have gone to Blair to see what he could do to save Dana College and he would have locked community college leaders in a room with him to resolve their funding differences without expensive lawsuits.

Wouldn't that get him cited for kidnapping, or at least false imprisonment?

Tom Casady said...


I suppose that would depend on whether they were voluntary participants in the lock-in, wouldn't it?

Is this like Die Hard, or more like a Texas Cage Match?