Omaha Police Foundation Honors Officers, Announces 2018 Officer of the Year

The Omaha Police Foundation (OPF; hosted its 19th annual Officer of the Year Awards Luncheon on April 25 at the Scott Conference Center. Forty-two Omaha Police Department (OPD) officers, one non-sworn personnel, and the Patrol Rifle Instructor Group were recognized for their outstanding work in the prior year. Awards presented during the event included the Police Lifesaving Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, and The Purple Heart. The Patrol Rifle Instructor Group received the Foundation’s Community Impact Award.

Police Lifesaving Medal recipient Brent Kendall was selected from among the honorees as the 2018 Officer of the Year. On May 14, 2018, a Metro Area Fugitive Task Force developed information that a wanted robbery suspect was located at a residence. When the Task Force arrived on scene they requested uniformed officers to assist. Sergeant Kendall heard the request and proceeded to the scene to assist, both as a supervisor and department negotiator.

Sergeant Kendall established phone contact with the suspect and within minutes was able to talk him into exiting the residence. The suspect exited with a large, self-inflicted cut on his neck. Sergeant Kendall requested an OFD Squad on stand-by, but they had not arrived yet. Sergeant Kendall retrieved his personal emergency kit and utilized a pressure dressing to keep the wound closed, controlled the bleeding, and monitored the suspect for nearly 10 minutes until the Squad arrived. The suspect was transported to Bergan Mercy with life threatening injuries and underwent immediate surgery to save his life. For excellent police work and efforts, Kendall’s actions saved a life and he was awarded the Police Lifesaving Medal. For his heroic efforts, he was also honored as the 2018 Officer of the Year.

The Omaha Police Foundation also presented a Community Impact Award to the OPD Patrol Rifle Instructor Group for its work to ensure that officers are prepared to protect the public in responding to nearly unthinkable criminal encounters. Sergeant Jeff Baker accepted the award on the Unit’s behalf.

For the second year, the Foundation awarded its Dr. Jack K. Lewis Memorial Scholarship to Millard West High School senior Elise Fricke and University of Nebraska-Lincoln student Brooklyn Housh. Fricke and Housh, both the daughters of active duty Omaha Police Officers, were selected based on their exceptional academic performance, leadership skills, extracurricular activities, and scholarship application essay.

Since 1999, the Omaha Police Foundation has worked in partnership with the Omaha Police Department to provide financial support and create community partnerships that ensure the Department has highly qualified officers who have the training, equipment and technology to prevent crime, save lives, and make Omaha a safer community. Over the past 19 years, the OPF has raised more than $5 million to fund a variety of initiatives not covered by funding from the City of Omaha. For more information on the Omaha Police Foundation, visit