NSP Recognized Employees of the Year

Posted 6 months ago

By Scott Carlson

Back row-Left to right: Lt. Colonel Tom Schwarten, Trooper Bill Price, Lt. Dennis Leonard, Colonel David Sankey Front row- Kim Heitmann ( not pictured, Jennifer Kirkpatrick)

Back row-Left to right: Lt. Colonel Tom Schwarten, Trooper Bill Price, Lt. Dennis Leonard, Colonel David Sankey
Front row- Kim Heitmann ( not pictured, Jennifer Kirkpatrick)

Sworn and civilian employees of the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) were recognized as employees and supervisor/managers of the year during an October 30, ceremony in the Rotunda of the Nebraska State Capitol.

Trooper Bill Price, honored as the sworn employee of the year, is a 24-year veteran of the Nebraska State Patrol assigned to Troop B- Norfolk in the Field Services Division. As the Troop B Community Service Officer, Trooper Price has a direct impact on the safety of Nebraska citizens.  By developing and implementing programs aimed at young adults, Trooper Price works tirelessly to raise awareness and save lives by reducing the potential for serious injury and fatality crashes. Trooper Price is also credited with coordinating a display of Nebraska State Patrol history at the Elkhorn Valley Museum in Norfolk.

Kim Heitmann, Accountant I, State Headquarters- Lincoln, was honored as the civilian employee of the year. Employed with NSP since 2011, Kim is always one to go above and beyond the call of duty. In the past year she was asked to assume extra responsibilities while a fellow employee was out on medical leave which required her to complete multiple payroll cycles on her own with little or no assistance.  Kim’s dedication ensured the NSP payroll for more than 700 employees was processed in a timely and accurate fashion.

Lieutenant Dennis Leonard, a 27-year agency veteran, was honored as the sworn supervisor/manager of the year. Assigned to the Investigative Services Division in Troop C-Grand Island, Lt. Leonard has proven to be an effective leader. Over the past year, Lt. Leonard was called on to act as the statewide Investigative Services Captain. This duty assignment added additional travel and responsibilities which Lt. Leonard handled with professionalism and commitment, paving the way for a smooth transition and orientation when a new Captain was named.  Lt. Leonard is also credited with improving the security and communications operations as the Nebraska State Fair transitioned to its new home in Grand Island.

The civilian supervisor/manager of the year honor goes to Jennifer Kirkpatrick, who received the honor for her work as Research Manager in the Criminal Identification Division in Lincoln.  Since joining the Agency in June 2010, Jennifer has overseen a number of projects including the research and implementation of the upgrade to the statewide Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). Her ability to work with multiple agencies to meet network needs was paramount to the projects’ success.

October is State Employee Recognition month. The award recipients were honored during a ceremony held in the Rotunda of the State Capitol. A reception following the ceremony was held at the Governor’s residence.