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Recognition

Officers of the Month

January 2012

 
Officer Randy Pignotti

On Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 2:55 a.m., K9 Officer Randy Pignotti was on routine patrol traveling eastbound on I-80, approaching the 72nd St. off-ramp. Pignotti observed smoke coming from a grove of trees which was located in a ravine off the roadway. As Pignotti approached the area, he could observe a white Ford Explorer that had crashed into the trees and he could see a fire underneath it.

Pignotti ran up and saw a man in the driver's seat. The man was not moving and appeared to be unconscious. The driver's door was damaged and could not be opened. Pignotti yelled and pounded on the door. The man driver responded but didn't move. By then the fire had moved to the engine compartment and was getting bigger. Pignotti moved to the passenger side and broke several windows in an attempt to get the man out of the vehicle. Pignotti was able to pull the man out the passenger side window and out of the vehicle. With the assistance of a cabdriver, Officer Pignotti was able to get the driver away from the now fully engulfed vehicle fire.

The driver was transported by Omaha Fire to UNMC where he was treated for a pelvic fracture.

 

Information Services Technician Deborah Saddoris

Deb Saddoris took on a time-consuming and detailed process of viewing, entering, and editing hundreds of juvenile records to ensure their accuracy. This was a huge undertaking that took Deb years to complete. This assignment was done in addition to Deb's regular duties.

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February 2012

Officer Matthew McKinney

Officer Matthew McKinney has shown great dedication, professionalism and vigilance in the performance of his duties as a Police Service Dog Handler assigned to the OPD Canine Squad. In one month’s time, Officer McKinney made three separate seizures and felony arrests of criminals who are involved in smuggling illegal contraband through Omaha.

McKinney located various types of drugs including marijuana, cocaine and hashish, over $16,000, and firearms during these seizures.  

Officer McKinney has worked very hard conducting traffic enforcement and utilizing his training and experience in his patrol duties, particularly in the area of criminal interdiction. McKinney represents the Omaha Police Department and Canine Squad well with his professionalism and work ethic.

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March 2012

Officer Jeremy Pruitt

On Thursday, January 12, 2012, at approximately 9:58 p.m. Officer Pruitt was patrolling in the area of Park Ave. and Woolworth Ave. when he observed a black male standing on the northeast corner of Park Ave. & Woolworth Ave. outside of the Midtown Gas & Grocery store. Officer Pruitt then observed another black male run out of the Midtown Gas & Grocery, and together, the two suspects began to run northbound on Park Ave. Officer Pruitt, believing this to be suspicious, activated his red/blue lights, drove up behind the two suspects, got out of his cruiser, ordered the two to stop running, and then gave out a foot pursuit to the dispatcher.

As Officer Pruitt was chasing the suspects on foot, he observed one of them discard what appeared to be a black object that was later determined to be a handgun. The other suspect was dropping large quantities of paper money as he was fleeing. The two suspects split up, so Officer Pruitt chased after one and he gave out the direction of travel of the other one on the radio. As back-up officers were responding to the area, Officer Pruitt was able to apprehend the suspect that was dropping the money and returned him to the store.

It was then discovered that the store had been robbed by the two suspects. Other officers responding to the area were able to locate the second suspect hiding under a truck a couple of blocks north of where Officer Pruitt last saw him. Officers then back-tracked the path the suspects fled and located a handgun and a black wig under a bush. The money the suspect was dropping was recovered by officers and returned to the store. The clerk determined that all the money taken in the robbery was recovered.

It was Officer Pruitt's acute observation and solid work that ensured these two robbery suspects were apprehended.

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April 2012

Officer Paul Sarka

 

On Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 3:28 a.m. officers responded to a crowd disturbance in the area of 16th and Harney Street. As Officer Paul Sarka was arriving, he could hear several gunshots being fired. Several witnesses pointed out the suspect, who was running from the area. Officer Sarka gave chase, while transmitting suspect information over his portable radio.

 

As Officer Sarka caught up with the suspect, the suspect threw a firearm to the ground and continued to attempt to flee. Officer Sarka, and another responding officer took the suspect into custody shortly thereafter. After taking him into custody, officers found another gun in the suspect's coat. The suspect was booked into jail for first degree murder, attempted murder, and additional weapons charges. One of the two gunshot victims in this incident died as a result of the suspect's gunfire. Due to Officer Sarka's quick action, a dangerous felon was taken off the streets.

 

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May 2012

 

Officer Randy Pignotti

On Thursday, April 5, 2012, Officers received a radio call to Bucky's Express, 2635 S 160 St. for a robbery. Two black male suspects entered the store. While suspect 1 held the clerk at gunpoint, suspect 2 went behind the counter and took money from the register. Both suspects ran out of the store and headed north on foot.

A Douglas County deputy that arrived at the store, radioed that a white SUV was last seen leaving the area eastbound on West Center Road.

Officer Randy Pignotti was responding to the call, when he spotted a white SUV, eastbound on W Center. He turned around, caught up to the SUV, and initiated a traffic stop

Two black male passengers & and the black female driver were secured and detained without further incident.

After the suspects were identified, officers searched the SUV and found two hooded sweatshirts. An officer also found a black pellet gun that was used during the robbery. All of the items were used during the robbery.

After interviews, both males were booked for Robbery & Use of a Weapon to Commit a Felony. The female was booked for Accessory to a Felony; later amended to Robbery.

 

It's believed that the suspects are involved with other robberies committed in the Metro area.

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June 2012

Officer Troy Liebe and Christopher Rock

On March 16th, 2012 Officers Troy Liebe and Christopher Rock responded to a shots fired call which led them to 4012 Wirt St. Officers had information that suspects had fired shots outside and then ran into the residence.

Officer Liebe first went to the back of the residence to secure it in the event of suspects fleeing from the rear. While checking for additional suspects Officer Liebe found a shotgun and a rifle. Officer Liebe radioed to the additional responding Officers to secure and keep hold of several parties who were standing in front.

Officer Liebe then made contact with five possible suspects who were at the residence. Officers questioned the suspects, who were ultimately booked for Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Possession with Intent to Deliver marijuana, MIP Gun, Unregistered Firearm, and Discharging a Firearm in City Limits.

Details from this investigation also led to an arrest in an ongoing homicide investigation.


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July 2012

Officers Eric Eaton, Justin Knapp and Allen Straub

On Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 Officers Allen Straub, Justin Knapp, and Eric Eaton responded to a cutting at 12825 Ruggles Plaza #164. Upon arrival, Officer Eaton took a position near the rear of the mobile home and Officers Straub and Knapp went to the front door to make contact with the victim.

Officers observed bloody handprints on the door that gave the appearance somebody was pulled back into the residence. At the same time, Officer Eaton observed a male party physically restraining a female party on the bed in the back bedroom through openings in the window coverings. Officer Eaton relayed this information to the other officers. Officer Straub immediately decided forced entry would be needed.

Officers entered the residence and could hear the female party struggling in the bedroom. Officers made entry into the bedroom and observed the suspect physically holding the victim on the bed. Officers ordered the suspect to release the victim and the suspect complied. Officers took the suspect into custody without further incident.

 

The suspect was booked for domestic violence felony assault and false imprisonment. The victim was treated for her injuries which were not life-threatening.

Due to good observations and interpretations by all officers involved and their quick, concise communication with each other, the suspect was apprehended without the victim suffering further injury, and a dangerous domestic violence situation was concluded.

 

Crime Lab Technician Krystal Kirwan


On Monday, April 12th, 2012 Crime Lab technician Krystal Kirwan responded to a burglary investigation at 3919 X Street. Kirwan was able to retrieve fingerprints off of property inside the residence that led detectives to a suspect. As the investigation continued, officers were able to identify an additional suspect. The two suspects were arrested for burglary, and are believed to have been involved in over 10 burglaries in South Omaha.

 

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August 2012

 

Officer Patrick Dempsey

On Friday, June 15th, 2012 Officer Patrick Dempsey responded to check the well being of a female who had climbed out onto the interstate sign attached to the Leavenworth St. Bridge over 1-480. The female was contemplating suicide by jumping from the sign onto on-coming traffic.

Initially as officers attempted to made contact with her, she became extremely agitated and moved to the edge of the sign, threatening to jump, so officers backed off. Officer Patrick Dempsey made contact with the female and established rapport with her, getting her to calm down and move away from the edge of the sign closer to the bridge. Due to the female's location, there was no way for officers to reach her to bring her back over the bridge or for her to climb over, as it was raining, and the bridge rails were wet.

Officer Dempsey got her to agree to be brought down by the Omaha Fire Department. An OFD aerial engine was called to the scene and brought the female down to safety.

Crime Lab Technician Sarah Meyer

On May 23rd, 2012, Crime Lab Technician Sarah Meyer responded to a burglary at the Hillside Little League field at 8216 Western Avenue. Suspects had stolen copper wires, and done damage to two scoreboards. 
An estimated $2000 of damage was done. 

Meyer worked in adverse weather conditions, covering a large crime scene, to collect evidence in this investigation. With no witnesses or video footage of the crime, the evidence that Meyer collected could be crucial in solving this crime.

 

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September 2012
 

Sergeant Pamela Volk and Officer Matthew Williams

 

On August 16, 2012 at 11:11 p.m. Ralston Officers were dispatched to 4909 South 76th Plaza to check the well-being of a party asleep at the wheel of a Honda Accord. The officer attempted to make contact with the party, when he woke up, looked at the officer and put the car in reverse. The officer was stuck between the open door of the vehicle. As the driver put the vehicle in drive to flee from the scene, the officer fell off the car and hit his head on the concrete.

OPD officers Volk and Williams contacted Ralston and asked if they needed assistance. Volk and Williams got information about the suspect that led them to the Travelodge at 107th and M Street. At that location, officers located the suspect, William Shea, and took him into custody. He was charged with assault on an officer, and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, as well as a burglary.

 

Gang Specialist Chevist Johnson

The Omaha Police Department hired Chevist Johnson in December 2010, for the new position of Gang Specialist. Chevist has years of experience working with at-risk children and adults. Chevist meets with people in the community to help guide them to resources, and provide personal support and mentoring, to help them make good life choices. He connects with Omaha youth, who identify with his message of finding purpose in life and making choices that help them reach their goals.   

 

Chevist has connected with the Community and has helped the City of Omaha greatly in his time as Gang Specialist. He has helped the Omaha Police Department effectively move to a higher level of serving the community and has provided valuable gang prevention and intervention. OPD benefits greatly from Chevist's magnetic personality, his strong work ethic, and his expertise in reaching kids and adults who are struggling in life.

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October 2012

 

Officers Sean Glassman and Eric Henka

 

On Friday, September 7, 2012 at 6:45 p.m. officers Glassman and Henka conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for equipment and traffic violations. During the stop, officers smelled an odor of marijuana and noticed an open container of alcohol in the vehicle. Officers located multiple bags of marijuana in the vehicle and a stolen handgun. During the investigation, officers determined that the suspect had used the firearm months earlier in a felony assault - shooting. The suspect was booked on multiple felony charges.

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November 2012

 

Officer Anthony Jones

 

On Sunday, September 9, 2012 Officer Jones was working off-duty at 11th and Farnam Street when he observed a male party in a Chevy Tahoe punching a female. Officer Jones approached the vehicle as the suspect continued to punch and choke the victim. Jones was eventually able to take the male into custody. The suspect was booked for Felony Domestic Violence Assault by Strangulation. The victim was transported to to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.

 

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