In-service training is underway this week and next at the police department. In order to deliver a training program to all officers, it is necessary to present the same session on ten days. You can't take everyone off the street at once, so small groups receive the training on consecutive days. As you might imagine, this is quite a commitment for instructors.
I slipped into training twice this week, during a 30 minute presentation focusing on the kind of assistance the FBI can provide--and vice versa. The session is being conducted by Special Agent Jeff Howard.
I guess I took it for granted that everyone knows Jeff, since he was a Lincoln police officer for many years before he left for the FBI, but I looked it up this morning, and Jeff actually left LPD in 1999. Seems like yesterday to me, but it's been 16 years, and probably half of the officers today never worked with Jeff.
He was a superlative police officer. During my time as chief, he was clearly one of our top investigators. His name is splattered over all the significant case files of the 1990s. What I most admired about Jeff's work was the fact that he took it personal--in a very positive sense. Jeff was driven by a desire to see justice done on behalf of victims, and worked with a single-minded determination to assure that happened. Although he's been around the country since he joined the FBI, I have no doubt that this same quality has characterized his years at the bureau.
Jeff was LPD's Officer of the Year in 1998. Interestingly, his wife Cheri, a longtime civilian employee who managed the Police Service Desk, was also the Civilian Employee of the Year that same year. I appreciate Jeff introducing himself to a new generation of Lincoln police officers, and I am mighty glad to have him back in Lincoln as a resident agent who will have the opportunity to work with the department on the local level. He has joined a long list of accomplished LPD alumni.