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Footprinter award winners

Award recipients for the 43rd annual Awards Dinner sponsored by Capitol City Footprinters Chapter 44 are pictured with Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson (front right), who presented the awards. Dispatchers in front row, from left: Mike Binder, Becky Bliven and Allison Schultze. Law enforcement officers in back row, from left: Officer Trevor Stahlecker, Sgt. Andrew Vocasek, Capt. Mark Majors, Deputy Allen Ullman, Investigator Pedram Nabegh, Officer Chadd Stutheit and Sgt. Matthew Koch.

The names of seven law enforcement officers and three dispatchers were added to the honor rolls Oct. 18 during the Capitol City Footprinters Chapter 44 annual awards dinner at the Crooked Creek Golf Course clubhouse.

The Lincoln-based chapter has presented about 400 awards since it was chartered in 1968. It had as many as 200 members during its peak membership years in the mid-1980s, according to former Lincoln Police Department officer Gene Giles, who retired from the LPD in 1994.

The local chapter is affiliated with the International Footprint Association, which promotes fellowship, respect, cooperation and helpfulness among all arms of law enforcement and those who support law enforcement and all its agencies.

This year’s award winners:

LAW ENFORCEMENT

Criminal Investigator Pedram Nabegh, Nebraska State Patrol

Background: A 13-year veteran of the Nebraska State Patrol, Nebegh has a master’s degree in forensic science from Nebraska Wesleyan University. He investigates everything from financial crimes to homicides.

Highlight: In March 2019, he was lead investigator in a double homicide that resulted in the guilty party turning himself in to authorities.

Nominated by: Col. John A. Bolduc, superintendent of Law Enforcement and Public Safety.

Sgt. Matthew Koch, Nebraska Department of Correctional Services

Background: Joined the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution in May 2016 as a corrections officer. Has received several promotions, most recently to the rank of sergeant in July 2018.

Highlight: Cited for his performance in response to several staff assaults, including one involving two inmates in which a fellow staff member sustained over a dozen puncture wounds from a homemade weapon. Sgt. Koch secured both inmates until additional staff arrived.

Nominated by: Diane Sabatka-Rine, chief of operations; Todd Wasmer, warden, TSCI; and Linda Bos, Human Resources manager.

Captain Mark Majors, Lincoln Fire & Rescue

Background: A 22-year veteran of Lincoln Fire & Rescue who inspires others to follow in his footsteps.

Highlight: Instrumental in the successful rescue of numerous citizens during statewide flooding earlier this year, and in helping Nebraska Task Force I expand their abilities into helicopter search and rescue operations with the Nebraska National Guard.

Nominated by: Battalion Chief Robert A. Watton.

Officer Andrew Vocasek, Lincoln Police Department

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Background: Joined the LPD in August 2009. Last year, his statistical productivity was double the team average in the categories of warnings (413), misdemeanor arrests (152) and felony arrests (35).

Highlight: Known for his safety skills in managing crowd control during 2 a.m. “bar break” on O Street. Also voluntarily manages one of LPD’s social media accounts on Twitter, attracting over 7,000 followers.

Nominated by: Chief of Police Jeffrey Bliemeister and Captain Ryan Dale, Awards Committee chair.

Officer Trevor Stahlecker, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission

Background: Joined the NG&PC in August 2017. Cited for his investigation that ranges from permit fraud and revocation to the illegal possession of fish and wildlife that impact legitimate hunting and fishing.

Nominated by: Stacey Lewton, Southeast District supervisor, NG&PC.

Deputy Allen Ullman, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office

Background: Joined the Sheriff’s office in March 1993, receiving 44 commendations during that time. Earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from UNL in 1989.

Highlight: Is considered the “go-to” man for security in the Justice and Law Enforcement Center, the County/City Building and the 605 (old jail) building.

Nominated by: Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner.

Officer Chadd Stutheit, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police Department

Background: Is considered a powerful motivator with a positive attitude who is respected by his peers.

Highlight: Volunteered to become a rifle and firearms instructor.

DISPATCHER AWARDS

In addition to the law enforcement awards, Capitol City Footprinters continued a 16-year tradition by honoring the area’s leading dispatchers. This year’s recipients, selected by their respective supervisors, are:

Becky Bliven, communications site manager for the Nebraska State Patrol’s Lincoln Joint Operations Center;

Allison Schultze, a CTO for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police Department; and

Michael Binder, public safety dispatcher for the Lincoln Police Department, as well as a volunteer dispatch trainer and a lead dispatcher.

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